The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

The Crucible book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What human experiences are faced in The Crucible?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,182 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The entire community of Salem experiences mass hysteria and fear during the witch trials. The citizens of Salem genuinely believe that Satan is among them and are stirred into a frenzy as more and more accused citizens are arrested for participating in witchcraft. In addition to experiencing fear and hysteria, a select number of citizens experience guilt and shame. Mary Warren and Reverend Hale are ashamed and guilty for supporting the corrupt court and participating in the unjust proceedings. Mary Warren even confesses that she lied on the witness stand, while Reverend Hale quits the court in act three.

Many citizens also experience greed and use the witch trials to their advantage. Thomas Putnam selfishly uses the witch trials as a land grab, while Abigail proudly establishes herself as an authority in Salem's community. Danforth, Hawthorne, and Parris also exercise greed by using the witch trials to cement their authority. Elizabeth Proctor experiences remorse and regret for not forgiving her husband sooner. She regrets not exercising forgiveness or treating John with kindness.

The most prominent human experience some of the characters face concerns sacrifice. John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Rebecca Nurse sacrifice their lives to put an end to the witch trials. Proctor experiences humility by sacrificing his upstanding reputation and tearing up his confession to die a martyr in hopes of ending the witch trials.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial