The Crucible: the Deterioration of Salem During the Witch Trials

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The Crucible: the Deterioration of Salem During the Witch Trials

By | October 1999
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The Crucible: The Deterioration of Salem During the Witch Trials

John Hudson
Mrs. Phillips

The deterioration of Salem's social structure precipitated the murders of many innocent people. Arthur Miller's depiction of the Salem witch trials, The Crucible, deals with a community that starts out looking like it is tightly knit and church loving. It turns out that once Tituba starts pointing her finger at the witches, the community starts pointing their fingers at each other. Hysteria and hidden agendas break down the social structure and then everyone must protect themselves from the people that they thought were their friends. The church, legal system and the togetherness of the community died so that children could protect their families' social status.

Being isolated from any other group of people with different beliefs created a church led Puritan society that was not able to accept a lot of change. The church was against the devil, at the same time it was against such things as dancing and other premature acts. The reputation of the family was very important to the members of the community. When the girls were caught dancing in the woods, they lied to protect not just themselves but the reputation of their families. They claimed that the devil took them over and influenced them to dance. The girls also said that they saw members of the town standing with the devil. A community living in a puritan society like Salem could easily go into a chaotic state and have a difficult time dealing with what they consider to be the largest form of evil.

Salem's hysteria made the community lose faith in the spiritual beliefs that they were trying to strictly enforce. The church lost many of its parishioners because the interest of the town was now on Abigail because people wanted to know who was going to be named next. When the church was trying to excommunicate John Proctor, there were not enough people at church to do it. The people were...
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