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Salem’s Puritans in “The Crucible” Play by Arthur Miller Essay

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Updated: Apr 25th, 2021

Setting

How is Reverend Parris portrayed?

Parris is described as a man in his forties and the author adds that there is “very little good to be said for him” (Miller 6). He is quite dissatisfied with his life as he thinks that everybody (including) God does not like him. He also likes when children are quiet and behave themselves.

What is the economic situation in Salem?

The economic situation in Salem is quite difficult as people have to work hard to gather good harvest. The land is not very fertile and the town is surrounded by the forest.

How did the Europeans view the Puritans?

Europeans saw the Puritans as a sect of some fanatics. Europeans also thought that Puritans were positively affecting development of their economy through trade.

Theocracy

What reason “more than the creed” does the author give for the people of Salem remaining so strongly united?

The author notes that people lived in quite harsh environment which united them. They had to work hard and it is possible to assume that they depended on each other’s help. Therefore, they were united by labor more than by the creed.

What do the magistrates do in order make sure that community members worship at the meeting house?

The magistrates hired two men who observed whether people were praying or singing with the necessary zeal. These men were also to make sure that people had a good reason to miss a meeting at the meeting house.

How does the “predilection for minding other people’s business” impact some members of the community?

The author states that the “predilection for minding other people’s business” affected members of the community in a positive as well as negative way (Miller 4). In the first place, people could easily trace inappropriate behavior and even prevent some actions. However, it also led to creation of an unhealthy atmosphere in the community as people became suspicious and could use the principle of predilection to pursue their own goals.

The Wilderness

How did the Puritans view the forest and why?

As has been mentioned above the town was surrounded by the forest and the forest was still a territory of Indians at that time. Puritans and Indians did not build proper relationships and there were numerous conflicts between these two groups. Thus, Indians often killed or hurt Puritans (though Indians were also often attacked). This is why the Puritans saw the forest as something hostile and it was associated with a dangerous and evil place. Eventually, they developed a view that it was the citadel of the devil.

Why die the Puritans view the Indians as heathens?

One of main reasons why the Puritans viewed the Indians as heathens was inability of Europeans to convert the Indians in their faith. The Indians were very different in everything (clothes, traditions, beliefs and so on) and this also made the Puritans view them as heathens as Europeans believed that everybody who did not share their views was a heathen. Besides, it was easier to justify Puritans’ inappropriate deeds (taking Indians’ land).

What is the main conflict/tension in this section?

The main conflict in the section is the Puritans need for land. The Puritans needed more space for themselves and their families. Clearly, they could gain land at the expense of the Indians’ land. Thus, the main conflict was resources rather than faith or traditions. However, many Puritans thought that the main conflict was the difference in religious beliefs.

“Christianity”

How were the Puritans fathers persecuted in England?

The Puritans were persecuted in England. The Protestants did not allow them to practice their religion and follow their rules. Of course, the Puritans had limited opportunities to obtain a job or means to earn money for their living. Some people could laugh at them and some could hurt or even kill the Puritans. This is why the Puritans had to leave their homeland.

How did the Puritans view other sects of Christianity? How is this ironic?

It is noteworthy that the Puritans did not want to accept that there can be other religions in their “New Jerusalem” (Miller 5). They believed that they were the only rightful Christians. It is ironic as they were ready to prosecute people who practiced another religion just like they were prosecuted for their religious beliefs. More so, they did not see anything wrong about it.

According to the author, why did they feel this way?

Miller notes the Puritans tried to protect their religion as they believed they could keep their order that way (5). They thought other religions could corrupt the world they were living in. This corruption could be dangerous as they could lose the battle for their existence in the dangerous environment. As has been mentioned above, they had to live in harsh conditions and their order was an effective way to handle their difficulties.

Next Generation Puritans

How does Miller explain a theocracy?

The author notes that theocracy is the ruling of ideology. He stresses that religious beliefs were the basis for the rules that regulated people’s lives. The Puritans followed those rules without questioning their effectiveness or necessity. They believed that this order could help them survive and develop a prosperous and righteous community.

Evidently the time came in New England when the repressions of order were heavier than warranted?”

The author refers to the infamous witch hunt. He states that rules accepted by the Puritans fathers were quite effective and could help create a good community. However, the conditions changed and the Puritans inhabited another land where life was different. Thus, the rules were not effective in the new land. Moreover, people relied on rules too much and they did not question the authority of their leaders who could be corrupted.

Other than possible witches, what does Miller say made these Puritans feel panic?

Miller notes that witches were only one thing that made the Puritans feel scared. Another reason for the panic was deprivation of their basic freedoms. They felt suffocating as more and more rules were imposed. Besides, they could feel that their order is being destroyed and they are left alone in the dangerous environment.

In the final paragraph, Miller cites a number of reasons that a person might accuse someone of being a witch. What are three reasons?

The three reasons that led to accusations were as follows: hatred of neighbors, land-lust and old scores. It is necessary to note that accusations of a family member could lead to problems for the entire family and all its members could be persecuted in this or that way. Thus, it is quite common that neighbors have certain issues and may argue some times. Sometimes these issues may lead to development of hatred between the neighbors and accusing a neighbor’s wife of witchcraft was an effective way to make his life miserable. Sometimes, people wished to gain more land and the accusation could help in this case as well. The neighbor could obtain the land of the accused person. Finally, accusations were also a good way to take a revenge.

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 2003. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 25). Salem's Puritans in "The Crucible" Play by Arthur Miller. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/salems-puritans-in-the-crucible-play-by-arthur-miller/

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"Salem's Puritans in "The Crucible" Play by Arthur Miller." IvyPanda, 25 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/salems-puritans-in-the-crucible-play-by-arthur-miller/.

1. IvyPanda. "Salem's Puritans in "The Crucible" Play by Arthur Miller." April 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/salems-puritans-in-the-crucible-play-by-arthur-miller/.


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IvyPanda. "Salem's Puritans in "The Crucible" Play by Arthur Miller." April 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/salems-puritans-in-the-crucible-play-by-arthur-miller/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Salem's Puritans in "The Crucible" Play by Arthur Miller." April 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/salems-puritans-in-the-crucible-play-by-arthur-miller/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Salem's Puritans in "The Crucible" Play by Arthur Miller'. 25 April.

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