In the play The Crucible, what does Miller say about the root of all sin? 

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Crucible, Arthur Miller suggests that the root of all sin, of all evil, is within our own sinful natures.  Many of the inhabitants of Salem believe, at least initially, that sin and evil is something we must be tempted to do by something outside ourselves; they blame the Devil for their sinfulness instead of their own weakness or greed or lust.  (It is a fact of human nature that it is almost always easier to point the finger at someone other than ourselves.)  This is precisely what Rebecca Nurse, the voice of reason, says in Act One.  She says that if the doctor is baffled by Betty Parris's illness, then they must "go to God for the cause of it [....].  Let us rather blame ourselves [...]."  She insists that they must look within themselves for the cause of their struggles, not without, as Mrs. Putnam would have them do.  It is difficult to accept that we have such a capacity for sin, that human beings can treat one another so maliciously and brutally for any reason, but it is this very capacity that makes possible the tragedy of this play.  The root of all sin actually grows from our own souls.