One of the most important themes in Arthur Miller's The Crucible is the nature of authority and people who abuse it. In the story, authority is determined by the religious status one has in the community and often education plays a role. Nowadays, authority is noted by the place you have in society and is also based on education and sometimes wealth. It seems that whenever there is a figure of authority, there is always someone abusing the power designated to them.
Back in the Puritan times, religious leaders like reverends and people skilled in the teachings of the Bible were the authority figures; and even with attempting to do good by following the word of God like they were supposed to, there were many occurrences where they smuggled in some law or did something for the benefit of themselves because they dominated and felt like no one below them could rebel against that or else they would be punished. This happened so often because people feared authority and the thought of the punishment they would receive was horrible because everything was tolerated a lot less, so they did not rise up to correct these happenings. One example of the power of authority being abused in The Crucible, is the fact that Reverend Parris spends too much money on things that the church doesn't need, for his own benefit. It seems as though he is more preoccupied with getting things that are an advantage to himself and his name, than he is with his religion and God. An example of someone noticing this is when John Proctor says, "A minister may pray to God without he have golden candlesticks upon the altar sir, when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at Parris's elbows- it hurt my prayer," and then he goes on to say, "I like it not that Mr. Parris should lay his hand upon my baby. I see no light of God in that man. I'll not conceal it.'" (Act 2, Scene 3 p., 856). He is speaking of not baptizing his children because he does not believe that Parris is a proper server of God....
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