Human Failings - Arthur Miller's the Crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Rebecca Nurse Pages: 3 (1133 words) Published: May 21, 2001
Arthur Miller writes about the tragic results of human failings in his play, The Crucible. He presents characters from the past and infuses them with renewed vitality and color. Miller demonstrates the horrifying results of succumbing to personal motives and flaws as he writes the painful story of the Salem witch trials. Not only do the trials stem from human failings but also from neglect of moral and religious considerations of that time. Characters begin to overlook Puritan values of thrift and hope for salvation. Focusing on the flawed characters, they begin to exhibit land lust, envy of the miserable and self-preservation. Thomas Putnam establishes conflict by vying for land with other characters. From the outset, he is bitter and quarrelsome over his boundaries. He shouts to Giles Corey, "I'll have my men on you, Corey! I'll clap a writ on you!" (Miller, ) Greediness does not play a role in a time of close-knit societies and in seeking the salvation of God. Putnam displays a threatening tone towards Giles over land. By threatening Giles, Putnam begins a cause to get what he believes is his. He immediately becomes a danger to whoever owns land, particularly Giles. Putnam disregards all his values in an attempt to gain worldly possessions. As the play progresses, Giles explains in court, "If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property…" (Miller, ) Giles reveals Putnam's real motive for crying witchery. As Putnam continues his lie, he subjects innocent people to their deaths. This despicable act can only be defined as greed. Moral values are absent as Putnam convinces the courts of witchery. Eventually this leads to the death of Giles by pressing. Putnam personifies greed in The Crucible by neglecting the lives of others while attempting to acquire more worldly possessions without qualms. Contrary to Puritan beliefs, he concerns himself over worldly wealth while ignoring the wealth that may come in the life after....
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