From the play "The Crucible" what are some examples that express the themes below and what are some examples out the book that supports it ?  1. superstition and fear can lead to injustice 2....

From the play "The Crucible" what are some examples that express the themes below and what are some examples out the book that supports it ?

 

1. superstition and fear can lead to injustice

2. religious extremism or fanaticism can be used for evil purposes

 

3. one person's wrongdoing can release evil into the entire community

 

4. people will tell any lie to save themselves, no matter how much they hurt others

 

5. some people are willing to die to prevent thrie honor and good game

Asked on by kiakia

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missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

1. Superstition and fear can lead to injustice.

Throughout the drama, people who refuse to confess to dealing with the Devil after they've been accused will hang. Thus, in fear of death, people who have been accused but haven't actually dealt with the Devil confess of something they haven't done in order to escape death.

Hale: I myself have examined Tituba, Sarah Good, and numerous others who have confessed to dealing with the Devil. They have confessed it.

Proctor: And why not, if they must hang for denying it?   (Act II)

2.Religious extremism or fanaticism can be used for evil purposes.

Abigail preyed upon Elizabeth Proctor through the fanaticism of the town and tried to frame Elizabeth so Abigail could get what she wanted, John Proctor. Abigail knew if a poppet was found in the Proctor home she could frame Elizabeth and accuse her of witchcraft, thereby making John a single man when Elizabeth got hanged.

3. One person's wrongdoing can release evil into the entire community.

Abigail drew the other tweenage girls into her efforts to mingle with the Devil. Although this started as a small group, she lied to cover it up. Then her uncle Rev. Parris is accused of having witchcraft in his home and wants to cover it up... before you know it the whole town is ablaze with question of who is and who isn't a witch.

4. People will tell any lie to save themselves, no matter how much they hurt others.

Abigail is just the star of your questions. Once again, she lied and tried to pull in all her friends and tells them she will hurt them:

Abigail: Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring you a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.

Abigail says this as the girls want to tell the truth about what happened out in the woods, but Abigail won't let them and coerced them to keep in line with her lie.

5. Some people are willing to die to protect their honor and good name.

John Proctor takes the cake here. John was proud that he wasn't a witch, and so didn't lie and confess to being a witch, and was okay with ultimately being hung for telling the truth. This is quite a paradox. We don't expect to see people punished for their moral behavior, but that's exactly what happened and John therefore died honorably.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Many of these themes can be demonstrated with situations and individuals from the work.  For example, theme number five can be seen as embodied with the actions of Giles Corey and John Proctor, who accept the sentence of death in the recognition of standing for their own names and not capitulating to the fearful perceptions of others.  Abigail is a fairly good representation of theme 4, as her lies and deception represent the root cause of all of the accusations and all of the claims that go back and forth that start the entire drama. At the same time, this could represent theme three. Salem's social and religious order, predicated upon repression and severe silence, is what would best represent the first theme.  Finally, the political and social order which benefits from individuals' not questioning the rules and established regulations of how guilt or innocence is determined and the entire premise of Salem's fear would represent the second theme.

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