The Crucible
The Crucible is a book that could lead the mind into many different ways. More of a play or act, The Crucible has many different themes and subject matters from different opinions. Themes are the primary and original widespread ideas spread in literature. The Crucible, takes place in the Puritan Society where people are condemned of witchery, guilty or innocent were taken upon very harshly.

The Crucible has many different themes, as mentioned before. One of the themes is narrow-mindedness. This is a theme for The Crucible in numerous ways. In the Puritan Society, the sins and crimes of a human being were taking upon in public concern. In the Puritan society there is no private life, all religions and feelings either go to God himself or the Devil himself. For example, in The Crucible, Judge Danforth claims that if you aren’t with us, you are against us and believe with the devil himself. Another prime example is the hangings of people in the Puritan Society, for even the innocent people were hung for the thought of witchery and the belief of devil worship.

Another theme for The Crucible, is Terror and or Panic. People in the Puritan Society or belief in Protestantism knew each other for very long times. In The Crucible, the act that the people knew each other, but than were condemning and determining their neighbors for such sins of witchery and belief of devil-worship. For example, in The Crucible, Abigail, who condemns Proctor’s wife Elizabeth to send her to jail, so she can be with Proctor and how Reverend Parris makes himself stronger with the questions he asks Proctor and the replies that Proctor gives back.

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The last theme to discuss is Salem’s future and status. This theme is very important and used in The Crucible many times. In the Puritan Society, name plays such an extreme role, that the fear of crying witchery and sins of their neighbors, will stain their names and character forever. A clear example would be in the beginning of the book where Proctor condemns Abigail of dancing in the woods and committing acts of the devil, but is feared that his character will be spoiled if told in public. Another example, a great example, is at the end of the book where Proctor agrees to sign the paper. Judge Danforth says that he is going to place the paper on the church door, and suddenly Proctor takes the paper back and rips it. Proctor does this because everything has been taking away, but he does not want his name to be tarnished, the soul he can give, but the name he will not.

The Crucible is a very strong and powerful play, which can be taken upon in many different ways in society as mentioned earlier. The themes in this book, help the character understand the true Puritan Society and way of life, and that if you didn’t believe in the Puritan Society or Protestantism, than you were with the devil himself and would be cried upon witchery.

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Circumstances cause adaptation. Drastic circumstances cause drastic adaptation. The Salem witch trials of 1692 were definitely drastic circumstances. Society’s hysteria, greed, and vengeance led to accusations that changed many lives, even changed some of those lives to death. Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend John Hale, and John Proctor were three characters that were altered during Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.


Elizabeth Proctor is a kind, intelligent, almost joyless woman that has evidently been ill in the past. Around her husband, she is virtually nervous and replies to his questions and statements quickly to please him. In their discussions, her suspicion of his honesty is brought to question, but she draws back hastily due to her still unwavering loyalty to her husband. When Rev. Hale visits the Proctor home to challenge their Christianity, she is defensive but clear in proving to Hale that she runs a Christian household. Later, when Cheever comes with a warrant to take her, Elizabeth is outraged and knows the reason she is being charged, Abigail! “The girl is murder! She must be ripped out of the world!” However, she calms and submits to go to the court and says “she will fear nothing.” The change takes place while in prison. Through the experience she is even more strong-willed and compassionate. At the end when she speaks with her husband, she shows love and is sorry she kept a cold house. “John, …no honest love could come to me…I never knew how I should say my love. It were a cold house I kept!” The transformation made her an even more positive woman.


Reverend John Hale’s metamorphosis was perhaps the most eminent. He is initially viewed as an arrogant, erudite minister that has all the answers. “He is nearing forty, a tight-skinned, eagar-eyed, intellectual.” He is proud that he has been called as an expert on witches. He quickly finds, however, that his books are not as equipped as he thought. One good quality of Rev. Hale at the beginning is that he is an outsider. He has no bonds of friendship or personal disputes with any townspeople. He does, though cling to and defend the court. To get to know the people better, especially the ones mentioned in court, he interrogates them to bring out the truth. The scene when Cheever takes Elizabeth is where Hale starts to pivot from darkness to light. It is not until Act III, though; he realizes the dishonesty of the ‘precious’ girls. Reverend Hale “denounced the proceedings, and quit the court.” He knew he was wrong and that he signed innocent people’s death warrants. He tries to save the accused by urging them to confess, but it is too late. His change might have been lucrative if he would have been swifter.

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The protagonist, some what of a tragic hero, is John Proctor. Proctor is “a farmer in his middle thirties” who is ” powerful of body, even-tempered, and not easily led.” Although he isn’t rich, he still demands, and is shown, respect in Salem. Often, Proctor stays home Sunday to aid his wife and to avoid Abigail Williams. His relationship with Abigail is one of shame and guilt. Abigail is still ” in love,” but says ” I will cut off my hand before I reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind.” Proctor’s change was his self-perception. Introspectively, he views himself as a fraud. Ever since his affair with Abigail he knows he is a sinner. He will not let himself be forgiven, even from God. At the end of the play, he agrees to confess to being ” the Devil’s man.” Proctor states ” I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man.” Proctor does not think he is good enough to die with Rebecca Nurse and the other “saints.” While he is signing the confession, however, he realizes his mistake. He does not want his name ruined, like a blacklisted Communist. He finally comes to the conclusion that he is a good man. He decides to take back the confession and dies triumphantly. His change was from an unforgiven fraud to an unashamed, fortitude.


Though in nature, adaptation usually leads to survival, this is not the case in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. However, truly living was found in dying for the beliefs of the individuals. These changes of character in the characters can be viewed as positive in the conclusion.

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