THEMES FROM ‘THE CRUCIBLE’ by Arthur Miller
‘The Crucible’ highlights the issues in Colonial Times in the New World America, in the recently-arrived Puritan community, particularly in this case, Salem.
The play demonstrates the following regarding FEAR.
· Take over a person
· Cause people to act strangely/unusually
· Reveal the frailty and instability of the human mind, especially when under unusual stressors
RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PLAY FEAR IS REVEALED.
· Reverend Parris’s mind is filled with fear – why? If people knew his daughter Betty was part of a sinful act, he might be punished as well, so his fear is predominately selfish.
· The girls are afraid – if they’re found out they might be severely punished
· Fear causes Abigail to threaten Betty to stay quiet – “I will come to you in the black…night…”
· The girls are more afraid of Abigail and her threats than anyone else in the town – unusual in a village where men reign supreme and women are regarded as powerless
· Fear is infectious
· Fear results in hysteria
· Fear destroys order – order becomes disorder/chaos
· Fear causes loss of rational thought