Reputation in the Crucible

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Reputation is the estimation or name of being, having, having done, something specified by the general opinion of either a private or public group of people. In Arthur Miller’s screenplay, The Crucible, Miller presents his opinions on the factual truth of the Salem Witch Trials. Various events in Arthur Miller’s screenplay reveal the theme of reputation as being a leading force in the developing plotlines of the story. By doing this, he brings a whole new point of view to the readers of his screenplay. Reputation was extremely important at the time, as in a town like Salem where social standing was tied to one’s ability to follow religious rules. If you had a good reputation, you were more likely to be an upright member of the church and a good Christian. In Puritan times being religious and following the rules of God meant everything. The reputations of many characters in the crucible including Abigail, John Proctor and Reverend Parris were defined by the many actions and dialogues throughout the play, the Crucible. A dialogue from Abigail reveals Arthur Millers’ insights on the role of reputation in the society of Salem. Abigail states, "I want to open myself! I want the light of God; I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (Miller Act I) This quote from Abigail raises her position in society. By Abigail, doing this, the other girls follow; believing this will raise them also in the social ranking of their society. After hearing Tituba confess to witchcraft, Abigail sees this as an opportunity to get herself out of the spotlight, even though she was with the other girls in the forest. After clearing her name, she wanted to move the blame on, she starts accusing falsely the other people of being witches. When this was done, the other girls followed because of the success she...
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