The Chinese proverb “A family in harmony prospers in everything” stresses the necessity of peace for a family’s survival as well as accomplishment. This quote holds great truth. Without peace, a family is faced with the alternatives of peace, which are conflict and disorder that threaten a family’s survival and prevent a family from accomplishing anything. The Proctor family from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and The Dubois-Kowalski family from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire both demonstrate that it is imperative for a family to have peace or otherwise a family would face the danger of tragedy.
The Crucible imparts the significance of peace in the domestic setting through the moving tragedy of the Proctor family. In this play, the theme of desire is the catalyst for the family’s tragedy. Abigail Williams, a beautiful young girl, becomes sexually involved with her married employer, John Proctor. Though John Proctor breaks off their relationship after his wife discovers his disgraceful infidelity, Abigail is persistent on continuing their lustful affair. She is so desperate to be with Proctor that she persuades a few girls and a Barbados slave to perform a ritual for the purpose of causing sudden death to Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth. Her actions bring very serious consequences once her uncle discovers the ritual and when her cousin falls ill. Ultimately, she and Tituba, the Barbados slave, are accused of witchcraft and of doing the devil’s bidding at the Salem Court. Their plan to save their lives from execution launches a terrible witch hunt in Salem which destroys many lives.
To save themselves, Tituba and Abigail admit to having done the devil’s bidding, and “atone” for their wrongs by “helping” the court find other women in Salem who are involved with the devil. In reality, they accuse innocent people of crimes that were never committed. Elizabeth is accused as one of these Salem witches, and it is clear that Abigail’s motive in doing so was to...
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