Intolerance In The Crucible

How is intolerance a theme of The Crucible?

The theme of intolerance permeates Arthur Miller's play The Crucible. Anyone who is different from the people of Salem or whose behavior does not match expected norms is subject to suspicion and accusation. Reverend Parris and the Putnams are models of intolerance, as is the Salem court, led by Judge Danforth.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1035 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 2, 2020