In a paragraph, please discuss how Arthur Miller represents community through the characters words and actions in his play, The Crucible?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miller represents the Salem community as a seriously divided one.  A faction prevented a relative of Mr. Putnam from attaining a position for which he was well-qualified, creating the resentment of the Putnam family.  Mr. Putnam "felt that his own name and the honor of his family had been smirched by the village [...]."  Further, Reverend Parris swears that another faction exists, a "faction that is sworn to drive [him] from [his] pulpit."  He fears that he could lose his situation and position if they are successful.  He blames John Proctor and Giles Corey for heading up such a "party," but they clearly know nothing about it.  Then, the suspicion of Mrs. Putnam helps to drive more wedges in between members of the community.  She says, "There are wheels within wheels in this village, and fires within fires!"  She is understandably angry that seven of her eight children died within hours of their birth, but she looks at others, like Rebecca Nurse, who has never lost a child, with bitterness and envy.  This leads to her suspicion that there are witches in the village who have murdered her babies, a suspicion that makes her all too ready to believe any accusations against them.  The speech and actions of these characters lets us know how much bitterness and suspicion seems to infect this community, and it has driven them to splinter and turn on one another.

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The Crucible

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