The Crucible And Puritanism - Language Arts 3 - Essay

815 words - 4 pages

The Crucible
During the 17th century, Puritans fled England in search of religious freedom. They set up towns ruled by a theocracy or a system of government headed by God. Ironically, however, they prosecuted those with opposing beliefs. As a result, countless innocent lives were lost. Arthur Miller's The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, during this era and exemplifies the beliefs of the Puritans as well as their lifestyles. The Puritans were loyal to God, believed in witchcraft, and fabricated explanations for strange occurrences.
Loyalty to God was the Puritans' priority. To start, Reverend Hale questions John Proctor's faith when he says, "I note that you are rarely in the church on Sabbath Day" and "A Christian on Sabbath Day must be in church..." (The Crucible 1092). This quote displays the Puritan belief that Sunday was a holy day meant to rest and worship God. Many feared that God would punish them if they did not attend church. Another idea that the Puritans valued was the 10 Commandments. The Puritans believed that the 10 Commandments were God's supreme law and that those who broke it would face his wrath. For example, John Proctor failed to recite all 10 Commandments, and as a result, Reverend Hale said, "no crack in a fortress may be accounted small" (The Crucible 1060). In other words, the Puritans believed that any sin or mistake would have consequences, no matter how big or small. As a result, the Puritans feared God, thus, obeying him. Continuing, the Puritans did not dance or play cards. They believed those activities were connected to Satan and, therefore, unholy. The Puritans refrained from those activities to stay holy and avoid God's punishments. Overall, the Puritans revolved their life around worshipping and pleasing God.
Another belief shared amongst Puritans was witchcraft. It is evident when Reverend Parris accuses Abigail of practicing witchcraft. Abigail denies the claim and says, "Uncle, the rumor of witchcraft is all about, I'd think you'd best go down and deny it yourself" (The Crucible 1030). This specific quote displays the Puritan's wholehearted belief in witchcraft and how rumors about it often spread throughout the town. Due to the words, Reverend Hale, an expert in witchcraft, was sent to Salem to find and eradicate witchcraft.
Another explicit example is when Mr. Putnam states, "There is a murdering witch among us, bound to keep herself in the dark" (The Crucible 1033). As shown in the quote, witchcraft introduced fear ...

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