Identify traits of Puritan culture showed in The Crucible through character beliefs and motives.

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In spite of New Testament teachings of a benevolent God, Puritans worshiped a punitive god who was always coming up with new ways to punish them for their carnal needs and wants. The characters in The Crucible either suffer or cause others to suffer under this perception of a punishing god. (Or at least this is what they claim.) One of Arthur Miller's suggestions to the audience is that those who claim to speak for God—namely Reverend Parris and Judge Danforth—are the biggest sinners of all.

Because the play is a criticism of religiosity—or at least dogma—it is difficult to point to authentic representations of Puritan life in the text. Some superficial traits that are evident are the status of women in relation to men in Puritan society, the status of slaves in relation to white women (evident in Tituba and Abigail's relationship), and the belief in piety and purity above all other virtues (embodied particularly in Rebecca Nurse). The dramatic irony of the text is that the...

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