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The Crucible

The Crucible Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible is perhaps one of the most accurate depictions of the Salem witch trials, which automatically translates into the popular trend of McCarthyism during the period in which this play was written./p>

The story of a young woman Abigail Williams and her stormy but brief affair with the very handsome John Proctor leads her into seeking revenge against her lover because he feels he cannot cheat his wife anymore. Hence she accuses a great many people along the way, proclaiming that they are all witches (because the foolish people of the town believe that she is telling the truth i.e. she receives visions) and this leads to the eventual execution of John Proctor and his wife.

The play is not just about McCarthyism i.e. Miller explores the darker side of human nature pointing out the way in which vested interests can cause a person to do whatever it takes to achieve his/her goals. Needless to say it eventually leads to disaster and thus destroys the very fabric of delicate human relationships. The character of John Proctor deserves particular mention here simply because he is portrayed as the paragon of virtue through the better part of the play. It is interesting to note that Miller wants the reader to sympathize with Proctor despite the fact that one is aware of his adulterous relations with Abigail, a conniving young woman who will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Proctor has often been termed as a tragic hero by literary critics all over the world i.e. he has all the good qualities e.g. he is honest and outspoken and makes his living by farming thereby providing for his wife and himself.

However like most tragic heroes he does have his faults one of which includes his relationship with Abigail. Still he is depicted as a good man and this appears highly questionable because adultery isn’t the kind of flaw that affects just one person i.e. it has the potential to corrupt society on the whole and can destroy relationships in the process. Adultery is not just about the immorality of an individual i.e. it is more of a social defect and so one cannot help but feel that Proctor is not the ‘good’ man that he appears to be in the play.

If one closely analyzes John Proctor’s character, one realizes that he is not actually the kind of ‘moral’ and ‘righteous’ man that one initially thinks he is. In fact he is not too sure about what he wants and when he finally understands what he has done wrong and how it has changed his wife’s life forever, it is too late.

Thus to atone for his past

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