The Individual and Society (The Crucible)

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor / Pages: 2 (717 words) / Published: Oct 20th, 2014
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible is a tale of hysteria and tragedy. According to Bonnet, The Crucible is a complex story with dual emphasis on the individual and on society. The article “Society vs. The Individual in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible” explains that constant shift between two very different ideas. The play is constantly switching between the two poles. Both society and the individual play distinct important roles in the play, but the two are also very intertwined, and to pull them apart would be to ruin the play. Bonnet then goes on in more detail the roles of these two ideas, exploring them through the author himself, the society, setting, and language. I agree with Bonnet’s analyzation of The Crucible because I think that there is a very complex relationship between the society and the individual in the play. On of the first things that the author of the article points out, is that the author himself has contradictory statements on the roles of the society and the individual. Miller says that his central impulse in writing the play was the interior psychological question of guilt. In an interview with Miller, he says that he wrote the play to emphasize the conflict between people and not the conflict within somebody (Bonnet). I agree with the author’s opinion that the even Miller is ambiguous about what the focus of the play is, perhaps because he himself doesn’t really know, or perhaps because he wants the reader to discover that for his or herself. Miller, in his authorial statements even lays stress on the importance of the sense of community (Bonnet), all while giving important personal characters lives. Something else that interested me while reading the article was the way the author described the Puritan society. According to Bonnet, the unity of the community is what eventually tears it apart. I hadn’t thought of the society that way before. The perfectness of the community, and the unity that that brings also leaves behind an inevitable

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