The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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How does Arthur Miller use the symbol of fire through the play The Crucible

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The symbol of fire is an important one in The Crucible. In the Christian religion, it is often used to symbolize both destruction and renewal, and examples of both abound in the play. One thinks of Reverend Parris voicing his concern that the witchcraft investigation will lead to the "burning down" and destruction of the community.

As well as its more conventional religious usage, fire can also be used to symbolize passion and desire. And the illicit relationship between John Proctor and Abigail Williams certainly burned brightly, if briefly. But Abby's keen to rekindle that passionate affair and tries to manipulate John—her old flame—into going back to her:

I have a sense for heat, John, and yours has drawn me to my window, and I have seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you’ve never looked up at my window?

Abby knows that John still has feelings for her, and ever the arch-manipulator, plays upon those feelings to try and win him back.

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If Salem is a...

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