The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Is there feminism in Arthur Miller's The Crucible? I need help with a thesis for an essay topic involving feminism in The Crucible. I need a three point thesis.

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Given that The Crucible is set in a Puritan town during the seventeenth century, it would be anachronistic to cite any examples of feminism in the play. The very notion of equal rights for women was unthinkable in those days, so it's hardly surprising that there's no real feminism here; it simply didn't exist at that time.

Nevertheless, a more promising thesis topic would be the unconscious subversion of patriarchal norms of conduct. A prime example would be Abigail Williams using her overpowering sexuality to undermine the foundations of the Proctors' marriage. Such scandalous behavior doesn't make Abby a kind of protofeminist, but it does make her someone who defies the conventions of the society in which she lives—conventions that largely exist to serve the interests of men.

Likewise, one could reasonably...

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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