What "The Crucible" Can Teach Us About Life

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What does the term "crucible" mean? A "crucible is a dish that tests the melting point of certain metals. In the play "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, a community is being tested for it's sanity and morality by the hysteria caused by the Salem witch trails. Though the majority of the community is caught up in the hysteria, there are a few individuals who refuse to be sucked in-Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale, each having very different personalities and each gaining insight from their experiences. Insight, an instance of understanding the true nature of something, sometimes through intuitive understanding, may either be positive or negative. In the cases of Elizabeth Proctor and John Proctor, their insight would be considered positive. The same can not be said with Reverend Hale, though. The insight he gained was some-what negative, but all three characters were most definitely changed by their newly found knowledge.

Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor, gained insight about herself more personal matters. The first gained insight was about her John Proctor, her husband. Before her husband was to be hanged, Reverend Hale and Reverend Parris pleaded with her to try to persuade John to confess his witchery. During their last intimate moments together, Elizabeth confessed to holding a "cold house" (137). Elizabeth realized that she should have acted more loving towards John, which would have added "warmth" to the house, when she had the chance. She also realized that she if she had not acted so cold toward John, he would not have committed adultery with Abigail Williams, her housemaid. Elizabeth Proctor also gained insight about John Proctor himself. During their last conversation together, John asks Elizabeth what he should do-confess and have his life, or die and have his integrity. Elizabeth, wanting him alive but also wanting him to do the right thing, decides not to direct his decision, but let him make his own. At first he decides to...
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