The Crucible: Deterioration of Social Order In Salem
The trumped-up witch hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts, deteriorated the rational, and emotional stability of its citizens. This exploited the populations weakest qualities, and insecurities. The obvious breakdown in Salem's social order led to the tragedy which saw twenty innocent people hung on the accusation of witchcraft. Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, used hysteria to introduce personality flaws in vulnerable characters. A rigid social system, fear, and confusion were evident conditions that became prevalent before and during the witchtrials. These conditions only contributed to the tragedy in Salem.
The isolation of the Puritan society created a rigid social system that did not allow for any variation in lifestyle. The strict society that was employed at this time had a detrimental effect on the Proctor family. John Proctor, a hard working farmer who had a bad season the year before and struggling this year was occasionally absent at Sunday service. This was due to the fact he needed to tend to his crops. Also, Proctor did not agree with the appointment of Mr. Parris as the newest minister, and therefore did not have his last child baptized. With the latest craze of witchery and swirling accusations, John Proctor was easily indicted of being a messenger for the devil by the testimony of his disillusioned servant Mary Warren, who in the past committed perjury. The court who heard the testimony easily accepts it because she is a church going person, while John Proctor slightly deviates from the norm. This transfer of blame is also noticeable when the truth is first discovered about what the girls were doing in the woods. The girls were not blamed. The blame was put on Tituba, the "black" slave who was said to have " charmed" the girls. Abigail swears that "she [Tituba] made me do it".(pg.40) It is obvious that in the Puritan society that whatever did not conform to what the masses had...
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