The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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How was conformity seen throughout The Crucible, and how did it affect the Salem Puritan society?

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The overriding emphasis on conformity is depicted in this play as a problem that corrodes the larger Salem society by causing people to lie to save themselves.

Conformity becomes a moral dilemma for John Proctor. He knows Abigail and Mary Warren have lied in accusing his wife, Elizabeth, of being a witch. However, he is afraid to come forward for fear his affair with Abigail will be exposed. This adultery would show that he does not conform to the Puritan moral code. His desire to look like a good Puritan conflicts with the reality that he knows his wife has been falsely accused.

The small ways John Proctor does not conform to social norms are used to discredit his family as well as him. The fact, for instance, that his family does not attend church on a regular basis helps plant the suspicion in people's mind that the charges against his wife are true and that he, too, is a witch—a crime for which he is executed, although the accusation merely arises from hysteria.

The play directly...

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