The Crucible/Puritanism Paper

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Salem, Massachusetts Pages: 4 (1294 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Puritanism Paper

“I'll tell you what's walking Salem—vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” (Miller’s The Crucible Act II, Pg. 77). The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play that revolves around the Salem witch hunts, which occurred during the late 17th century. The play opens in Salem, Massachusetts during 1692 with a group of girls who are ill, with the symptoms of hallucinations and seizures. These sicknesses were attributed to the devil or his servants in the heavily populated Puritan town. Talk of witchcraft was brought on by this sickness. It did not take long before the people of Salem began to accuse other villagers of dealing with the devil and performing witchcraft. Most “witches” were on the other side of old grudges and jealousies that drove the accuser to make the accusation in the first place. The heavily religious Massachusetts government and judicial system began to sort out the mass hysteria, which only made matters worse, as innocent were found guilty and hung. Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford is a book that details the arrival and settlement of the Puritans in the New World. The book also details the years following settlement and the hardships the Puritans encountered. Total Depravity, the Perseverance of the Saints, Unconditional Election, and Limited Atonement were tenets that the Puritans used to justify their actions and their theocratic society.

The Puritan tenet of Total Depravity was used to justify the Puritan’s actions. The tenet of Total Depravity states that through Adam and Eve’s fall, every person is born sinful, which is the concept of Original Sin. This tenet is demonstrate, in Miller’s The Crucible, when Rebecca Nurse is found guilty of being a witch. Rebecca has been a pious woman all her life, but because Mrs. Putnam had seven children that died and accused Rebecca, she is...
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