As you read the opening of Act I, how do you suppose Miller would respond to that statement that the puritans were run out of Europe?Someone once said of the puritans that they did not leave Europe...
As you read the opening of Act I, how do you suppose Miller would respond to that statement that the puritans were run out of Europe?
Someone once said of the puritans that they did not leave Europe because they were persecuted, but that they were thrown out of Europ because they persecuted everyone else. As you read the opening of Act I, how do you suppose Miller would respond to that statement?
If the Puritans were thrown out of Europe like you suggest, because they persecuted everyone, Arthur Miller would say that this group had a history of intolerance, therefore it is no surprise that they persecute their own people in Salem.
History tells us that the Puritans left England in search of a place where they could worship their purified version of Protestantism. Many of them went to Holland, where they lived until they decided that Dutch society was influencing their children too much. It is this group and others who board the Mayflower and journey to America in 1621.
It is inevitable, then that they would eventually turn on their own people if they viewed them to not be following the Puritan doctrine, and this is what happens in Act I of The Crucible. The young girls who dance and conjure in the forest are breaking Puritan law.
The Puritan lifestyle was very severe. It did not allow for entertainment, only Bible reading. Occasionally there was a celebration in town, but this was rare. The Puritan life was dominated by work and worship. Anyone who deviated from this community-centered behavior was considered a sinner.
Puritans looked after each other's eternal souls. Each believed that their soul was linked to their neighbors so they would do well to make sure that no one was consorting with the devil. It would draw God's wrath against the whole community.