The community of Salem, as depicted by Arthur Miller in The Crucible , is intolerant of anyone perceived to be different and of anyone whose behavior does not match the norms expected by the majority of the town's citizens. Tituba, for example, is "other" in the eyes of the people...
The community of Salem, as depicted by Arthur Miller in The Crucible, is intolerant of anyone perceived to be different and of anyone whose behavior does not match the norms expected by the majority of the town's citizens. Tituba, for example, is "other" in the eyes of the people of Salem. Tituba is a slave from Barbados, and her ways are not the ways of Salem. Her neighbors do not understand her and never think to try. They automatically assume that there is something demonic about her actions, that she is a witch, and that she is dangerous to the community. But Tituba actually seems to care deeply about Betty in the play's first scene.
Reverend Parris is probably one of the most intolerant characters in the play. Any behavior that is slightly out of sync with the religious and moral standards of the Salem congregation is a horror in his eyes. Dancing, for instance, is an abomination, and Parris simply cannot abide by John Proctor's failure to attend Sunday services, much less his tendency to plow on Sunday. Proctor makes no secret of his disdain for Parris, and this aggravates Parris' intolerance even further. As minister of Salem, Parris expects the people to listen and obey him, and when they do not, Parris cannot bear it.
The Putnams also strongly exhibit intolerance to anyone they view as different from and inferior to themselves. Thomas Putnam's brother-in-law had failed to be elected minister of Salem, and Putnam is bitter about it. He resents those whose viewpoint does not follow his own, and he is, therefore, quick to accuse them of all sorts of wrongdoing. Further, Putnam has been engaged in battles over landownership with many of his neighbors, and when he fails to get what he wants, he simply cannot tolerate the "injustice" of it. Again, he is quick to accuse those who dare to oppose him, including Rebecca Nurse.
The court convened to try Salem's accused "witches" is also a model of intolerance. Any disruption or contradiction of the court is a sign of severe disrespect in the eyes of Judge Danforth, and he simply will not tolerate anyone speaking what he does not wish to hear. He boasts of how many people he has condemned to hang and refuses to accept the reasonable, practical evidence or depositions of Proctor or Giles Corey, mostly because he has already made up his mind.
Again, Danforth is swayed by what he views as aberrant behavior in Protector and Giles. They do not behave as residents of Salem are supposed to behave, and therefore, their words are of little use to Danforth, who has made himself the final word for the people of Salem, a word of extreme intolerance.