What can be a good thesis statement that has to do with Salem's paradox in The Crucible?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There can be several thesis statements that would be able to articulate the paradox of Salem.  One might be that the town's theocratic form of government pursued its own brand of justice in a way that was as far from divine.  Pursuing individual vendettas with the personalized sense of gain is about as far from the sacred that one can get.  Another paradox present could be in the notion of being able to profess a search for truth and justice without any sense of evidence or fairness for those who were accused.  Hearsay and innuendo and gossip replaced fair representation and evidence.  A last paradox would lie in the idea of "forced confessions," or trying to compel confessions out of the accused individuals.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think one of the greatest paradoxes is the tension between religion and tolerance. On the one hand, you have a religion that should be based on love and tolerance, since Christianity has at its center the message of the love of God. On the other hand,  you have a religious community that does not show this love and tolerance. In fact, they show just the opposite too often.

Another angle is to connect the story as a contemporary commentary of Miller's day where the "freest and most democratic" country is engaged in the suppression of freedom and democracy. Keep in mind that Miller is writing during the McCarthy era.