In the play, The Crucible, the symbolism of the characters play a very important role that go along with the time era of McCarthy. Arthur Miller’s purpose of the characters in The Crucible was to show what people were like during the sass and sass. Symbolism is the use of an object, person, or event to represent something. In this case, Miller uses symbolism to signify the characters as people during the time of McCarthy. In works like these, symbolism makes the story seem like every character is important and gives meaning to the story.
Miller uses The Crucible as a way to vent out his linings about the political issues and problems going on during this time. As he states, “The Crucible was an act of desperation. Much of my desperation branched out, I suppose, from a typical Depression, the blow struck on the mind by the European Fascism and the brutal anti-Semitism it had brought to powwowed’ (Miller). He wrote the play as a way to show how he felt about the way of politics and its injustice. Miller’s fear of communism encouraged him to write this play about the struggle to hold on to pride and a sense of character in a world seen as being full of false values.
He compared the Salem witch trials to the McCarthy hearings. The McCarthy era was seen to be the making of accusations of disloyalty, rebellion or treason without evidence. Many took this as an advantage. Abigail Williams is one of the many girls involved in the witch trials. Throughout the play, Abigail is seen to be very manipulative and represents the girls who cannot be trusted. Miller portrays Abigail to be a conniving young girl who always gets her way. This goes to show what Miller thought of the women during the McCarthy era.
Abigail lies about being involved with he devil and gets other girls to help up start a riot and cause havoc that lead to the trials. Many of the teenage girls involved were convinced that they were cursed by the devil. The punishment for the accused witches was prison or sometimes even execution. In order for one to not be punished, they would have to accuse another person of witch craft, which helped Miller to symbolize these women as deceiving and harsh people. Throughout Act One, Abigail seems to be getting her way using trickery and blame.
Miller allows Abigail words to be believed by the judges and higher authorities in the play, but the audience knows that she is a fake. He gives her qualities that allow her to dominate over the rest of the girls and show that Baby is one magnificent liar. Miller uses the witch trials to show the hypocrisy, jealousy, and vengeance of the time era, and uses Baby to portray it. Could Baby also symbolize Millers distrust in women? The Crucible is evidence that Miller partakes of similar fears about wicked, angry, or wise women; even if his complicity in such xenophobia is unwitting [or accidental] (Chisel).
Miller’s symbolization Of Baby being compared to the hypocritical ways Of McCarthy show how strongly he felt about the politics. Revealing the women of the time as such horrible people and makers of brutal actions represent the corrupt ways of the system. In other characters, Miller saw some good. He made John Proctors wife, Elizabeth, the complete opposite of Abigail. Coincidently, Baby had an affair with John, committing adultery. Although this makes Baby look worse, it made Elizabeth look like an angel.
Even though Elizabeth knew about John’s affair with Baby, she still loved him unconditionally. Elizabeth represents the only good thing left in John’s life and although he lied to her, she remains faithful. During the play, we see Elizabeth fight for John and when people found out about the affair, she stood up for him. Miller wanted to represent Elizabeth as a caring and loving person, unlike Abigail. He tied them two together just like fire and ice. Abigail embodied the bad of the politics of the McCarthy era, and Elizabeth as the little hope Miller had in the political beliefs.
Elizabeth was a sincere and genuine wife. Although her abhorrence for Baby as strong she knew that John meant no harm. She knew that John still had feelings for Baby, but she loved him enough to help save his life from its conclusion when he was charged with adultery. During the entire play, Elizabeth has not Once lied to anyone. But in Court when trying to save her husband, she lied to the judges and said that John would never commit adultery. She states, “Your honor, I-in that time were sick. And l- my husband is a good and righteous man.
He is never drunk as some are, nor wasting’ his time at the cheeseboard, but always at his work. But in my sickness- you see, sir, I were long time sick after my last baby, and I thought I saw my husband somewhat turning from me. And this girl- Abigail Williams-I came to think he fancied her. And so one night I lost my wits, I think, and put her out on t he highroad. (“Your husband- did he indeed turn from you? “) My husband- is a goodly man, sir. (“Then he did not turn from you. Look at me! To your own knowledge, has John proctor ever committed the crime of lechery?
Answer my question! Is your husband a lecher! “) No, sir. ” Trying to save her husband, the only lie she told was the one attempting to conserve John Proctor. Miller wanted to symbolize Elizabeth as one of the true and respectable characters in The Crucible. This all conducts the way to the main character, John Proctor. Miller symbolized John as a good man. John Proctor was the tragic hero in this play for many reasons. Most of the reasons are that he realized all his mistakes and confessed to all his sins.
Another thing that made him a good person and a tragic hero was his appalling flaw and his final death. His unfortunate flaw was his physical attraction for Baby. When Elizabeth got sick, he began to feel emotions toward this young girl. Miller might have been symbolizing this as one of the McCarthy hearings. The fact that John realized all his mistakes was another reason why Miller made him such an important character. In COOL_Jar, when he comes clean, he also states, “Because it is my name! Because cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies!
Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name” (Miller). He also declared his flaw to the court as well. This was John’s way of showing them that although he committed a crime; he sonnets want to die a liar because he has too much pride and honor to do so. Could John Proctor be Millers way of putting himself in the play? Proctor’s thought is ‘free’ of this tradition. It is the cry of a man who has rejected the world in which he lives and hence can no longer use the language of that world.
A measure of the distance he feels between his own beliefs and the jargon of his neighbors is the fact that he implies a distinction between his ‘immortal soul’ and his ‘name’, the only word he can find to express the incorruptible part of himself (Prudhoe). The way Miller made Proctor speak was different than anyone else’s tone. John was always honest and forward with people. He told the truth and kept his pride, possibly Miller was the same way. If his plays sometimes reveal a weakness of power in the dialogue, the fault is not his own.
It is the fault of the time. Miller has shown in The Crucible that where he is writing against the background of a society which has stabilized beliefs and a stabilized language in which to express them, he can, without relying on period cliché©s, use that language with precision, authority and beauty of style (Prudhoe). Miller orators Proctor as a strong character and uses his dialogue to show the audience how different John is from the rest, how he can walk through the town with no shame of what he did, because in the end, everyone makes mistakes.
The lesson of this play would have to be that it’s far better to fail with honor than to succeed as a liar. Miller exposed us deeper into John’s thoughts and feelings than anyone else’s because it was his way of showing how he felt about the McCarthy era and the government. Miller pointed to the dangers Of drawing too facile a line between good and evil not because he denied evil UT precisely because he understood its power to affect the righteous (Iodine Jar. ). Throughout the story, all the characters have seem to have symbolized something important occurring in Millers life and the time frame of McCarthy.
Miller used the characters of this play to show how corrupt he thought the system was and its injustice. Miller had a great way of comparing the inequality of McCarthy to the Salem witch trials because it helped us understand what government was like and how unfair it was. Seen through Miller’s words, its easy to say that he didn’t like the way things were governed ND wanted to let out his anger and frustration of his hatred for the politics through The Crucible.