The Crucible

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When the Puritans moved to the New World they created a new society based upon perfect devotion to the strict and intolerant Puritan philosophy. However, the idea could not hold because the people themselves were blends of their European ancestries. Puritan philosophy was fixed in the search for spiritual perfection.
A Puritan’sfirst responsibility was to serve God. The Bible was a Puritan’s road map toward that duty. A Puritan considered it a kindness to his neighbor to keep an eye on the neighbor’s behavior and to guide him when it seemed like it was
necessary. A personal scandal was a community matter, and a church concern as well. Sin was a heavy load to the Puritans. There was no hope for man other than perfect obedience to God’s laws. Yet any clear-thinking Puritan knew in his heart that he was not a perfect person. Good deeds were looked upon with suspicion by the clergy and other citizens.
The Devil was on the mind of the Puritans as much as was God. The Puritan system was Bible-based in their minds, but it was unfair and biased. Wealthier and highly regarded citizens were sometimes given special considerations when they were accused of wrongdoing. Poorer Puritans would spend long periods of time in jail, waiting for trial. Their property would be seized, leaving their families with nothing. The Crucible makes use of this fact to build dramatic tension in the courtroom. When Abigail says that she saw the accused talking to the Devil, her statement was accepted as fact. Ministers were consultants to the courts, and were often called to interpret responses to accusations of witchcraft.
After reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller, one cannot help but wonder why when given the chance to confess to the accusations and live, did the characters choose to stay firm and die? In the past however, this was not a question at all. The answer was found within the strong religious background that most of the accused were raise…