Salem society

Reverend Parris thinks himself to be of such high status he will not accept anything that is standard or cheap, “Since we built the church there were pewter candlesticks upon the altar; Francis Nurse made them, y’know, and a sweeter hand never touched the metal. But Parris came, and for twenty week he preach nothin’ but golden candlesticks until he had them. I labour the earth from dawn of day to blink of night, and I tell you true, when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows – it hurt my prayer, sir, it hurt my prayer.

” From this the audience can clearly see what kind of man Reverend Parris is; he is cold, shrewd and corrupt. By not accepting hand made pewter candlesticks, Arthur Miller makes the audience see that Reverend Parris is corrupt. Arthur Miller also makes the audience question if Reverend Parris is a true man of God. This also shocks the audience because the Salem society was a very religious society and by not accepting hand made pewter candlesticks, Reverend Parris shows that he does not care about his religion but in fact he only cares about his appearance.


Reverend Parris demands a lot of respect that he thinks he deserves, “I want a mark of confidence, is all! I am your third preacher in seven years. I do not wish to be put out like the cat whenever some majority feels the whim. You people seem not to comprehend that a minister is the Lord’s man in the parish; a minister is not to be so lightly crossed and contradicted-. ” The audience can tell from this quote that Reverend Parris thinks that he isn’t getting enough respect from the town’s people. “You people” shows that Reverend Parris is not giving the villagers their respect until they show respect to him.

This is reflected in the McCarthy period because Joe McCarthy also demanded a lot of respect for such a high ranking individual. Thomas and Anne Putnam may be minor characters, but they are both key players in initiating and escalating the hysteria. This works to their advantage because they have many grudges and rivalries over many disputes about land and social status. When Anne Putnam is introduced to the audience, the audience instantly recognises that she is gullible and easily swayed, “How high did she fly, how high? ” From this quote, the audience immediately that Anne Putnam is a gossip.

This is because Anne Putnam does not walk in and ask politely how Betty Parris is, but instead she bursts in to know the gossip; this is shown by repeating “how high”. Also, the audience finds out that Anne Putnam is very superstitious, gullible and has a low level of intelligence. Not long after Anne Putnam says that quote, Thomas Putnam believes “it is a providence the thing is out now! It is a providence. ” This quote shows how highly regarded religion is in the Putnam way of life. It also reflects in the McCarthy period where Joe McCarthy felt very strongly about the communism hysteria.

The point that the Putnam’s are very gullible is later enhanced when Anne Putnam say’s, “She cannot bear to hear the Lords name in vein. ” This shows that Anne Putnam has little intelligence. It also shows that she is trying to create hysteria against the Parris’. The Putnam’s have grudges against the Corey’s, “I’ll have my men on you Corey! I’ll clap a writ on you! ” The audience immediately recognises from this quote that the Putnam’s and the Corey’s have a raging battle between them. Using an exclamation mark, Arthur Miller shows the escalated anger in Thomas Putnam’s voice.

Thomas Putnam’s family has had a long battle with John Proctor’s family for years, “Your Grandfather had a habit of willing land that never belonged to him. ” From this quote the audience recognise the elongated rivalry over land between the Putnam’s and the Proctors. Use of the word “Grandfather” emphasises how old their rivalry has been. Anne Putnam blames Rebecca Nurse for the loss of seven children of her own, “Let God blame me, not you, not you, Rebecca! I’ll not have you judging me any more! [To Hale] Is it a natural work to lose seven children before they even live a day?

” The dialect from Anne Putnam shows the grudge that Anne Putnam has against Rebecca Nurse. The stage direction “[To Hale]” shows that Anne Putnam is trying to blame Rebecca Nurse for witch-craft by telling the council directly. By saying “Is it a natural work” evokes that Anne Putnam is trying to rule out the possibility that the loss of seven children was not due to the fact that they might have been ill after birth; Anne Putnam does this by making the possibility of dying of a natural cause seem impossible due to the odds of that happening.

Tituba is a slave in her forties who works for Reverend Parris. Tituba holds deep grudged against Reverend Parris for taking her away from Barbados, “He say Mr Parris must be kill! ” When Tituba says this quote, she is lying about the devil. However what Tituba is really doing is expressing her true feelings about Reverend Parris. Tituba is an innocent character; however, she is somehow always blamed for other people’s crimes because she is a slave and has extremely low social status, “trouble in this house eventually lands on her back.

” From this stage direction the audience recognises that Tituba has low social status and she is used as an easy excuse to keep Reverend Parris’ status high. From the stage direction the audience is briefly told the outline for Tituba’s grudge against Reverend Parris and the people living in the house. Giles Correy does not believe the hysteria about witch-craft, instead he thinks rationally. Giles Correy has a grudge against Thomas Putnam, “If Jacob’s hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property – that’s law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece.

This man is killing his neighbours for their land. ” From the quote the audience recognises that Giles Correy thinks wisely about the witch-craft hysteria. It also shows how Giles Correy is highly educated. Giles Correy shows that he knows why Thomas Putnam is accusing people for witch-craft to obtain more land. By use of the word “killing”, Giles Correy emphasises how Thomas Putnam is using the witch-trials to gain land. In a sense, Giles Correy is also accusing Thomas Putnam for lying. Grudges and rivalries play a vital role in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller because they provoke the key events in the play.

The grudges and rivalries are held over mostly land, social status, and in some cases, love. These grudges were then resolved by blaming people to settle their grudges and rivalries- this is also known as the blame game. The play “The Crucible” is relevant to the time it was written in; this was the McCarthy period. This is because Joe McCarthy blamed people for communism in the USA to rise in social status. This sparked off paranoia across the USA which is exactly what happened in the Salem society.

In the McCarthy period there were many cases that are mirrored in the Salem society, for instance the case were Pete Townshend was blamed for child pornography to destruct his music career with his band The Who. Thankfully Pete Townshend case was dismissed; he then went onto creating another album with his band after a twenty four year gap. Another case is the Charlie Chaplain case, this was when Charlie Chaplain was tried for un-American activities and was ordered out of the USA. In conclusion, Arthur Miller used “The Crucible” as an act to show how the USA mirrored the events that happened in the 17th century Salem society.

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