The Role of Sex and Sexual Repression in the Crucible

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During the time that The Crucible is set, the role of males and females was extremely distinct. Men were the ones with the rights and women were the homemakers and supporters of men. Throughout The Crucible, Miller makes an example of the consequences that sex harbors, as well as the issues of sexual repression in society.

In The Crucible, many of Abigail’s actions fester from sexual repression. Her love and lust become one in the same for John Proctor. Before the play, she had an affair with Proctor, sparking the flame-like passion that she had towards John. This ultimately brings the audience and the characters to the events that are the Salem witch trials. According to, Discovery Education, the Puritan lifestyle was extremely rigid. People were expected to repress, emotions and opinions. In The Crucible’s case, many became aware to each others’ opinion only when the trials had already begun. Puritans also believed that God was as real as the Devil, therefore providing even more proof as to how the devil worship of the girls would be true. This gave Abigail backing when she began making accusations of witchcraft. Elizabeth, John Proctor’s wife, states on page 137, “It were a cold house I kept!” In this context, she is meaning that she and her husband were not sexual. Therefore, in defense of John, she openly blames herself for the affair that occurred between Abigail and John.

Miller uses sex as a tool to display the faults of both man and religion. He uses the repression of women and their sexuality to create a false sense of reality. Abigail has the affair with John, and he knows the mistake he made. When he tells Abigail that what had happened was a mistake, she looks for vengeance by pinning witchcraft on Elizabeth. This in turn causes John to defend Elizabeth, and eventually brings him to a point of no return. He confesses his affair with Abigail in open court. Then he confesses that he is a warlock in order to save the ones he loves.



Bibliography: "Salem Witch Trials - The People - DiscoverySchool.com." Salem Witch Trials - The People - DiscoverySchool.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2012. .

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