America has always been a nation possessed by the concept of being righteous and of always being free from blame. Arthur Miller does a case study of the warped America psyche of being Godlike in his tragedy, The Crucible. Here Miller uses character development, symbolism, and setting to emphasize the American obsession with perfection. During the late 1600'is, towns were becoming corrupt due to the fact that everyone was persecuting their friends and family. In this novel, Abigail Williams is a good example of the nature of sin. Abby plays the antagonist who goes to many extremes to receive attention, and to obtain what she wants, no matter whom she torments on the way.
Also an important role in this tale is the protagonist, John Proctor. He portrays an average man trapped in the madness of his own identity. Struggling to regain his reputation as a good man, he undergoes an alteration of his conscience. The climax of the play occurs when John Proctor tells the Salem court he has committed adultery with Abigail Williams. The entire play is meant to be symbolic with the witch trials. The need for perfection, and to be Godlike, was their destruction.
An instance of this theory would be evident in Giles Corey " is assumptions about his wife Martha, being able to read. This did not fit the mold of women living in America in the seventeenth century. As the trials took place, the Judge also occupied the position as Reverend. During this time, the idea of separation of church and state had not occurred.
Though the play itself has very few examples of symbolism, typical witchcraft symbols were symbolic, but few were actually relevant to the novel. The Poppet created by Mary Warren was initially thought of as good, but ironically was used for evil. With Abby " is obsession to make Proctor hers, she illustrates the wicked tendencies of a rebellious teenager. Proctor ignites the witch-hunt craze by the termination of his and Abby " is affair.
Yet, Proctor plays the 'i tragic-hero^i by confessing his affair to the court and his wife, to end the witch hysteria after he instigated it. John Proctor and Abigail Williams are a good example of the nature of sin, and how it effects the human mind and behavior. This is demonstrated throughout the tragedy, The Crucible.