The basic American Fundamentals of religious freedom states that we are free to practice whatever religion we want whereas in Salem, there is no religious freedom and the citizens must be Puritan. One example of religious intolerance the Puritans had is when a woman named Anne Hutchinson who went beyond what is taught in church to her own theological interpretations. Eventually, she was banished from the colony for having different ideas. ( http:// www. Interconnections. Com/Anne_Hutchinson_biography_004. Tm) In the play, a good man named John Proctor was not treated fairly during his justifications of his peers’ innocence because he did not attend church regularly and plowed on Sundays. In modern times, religious intolerance still continues on making times of religious turmoil lead to fear and prejudice. During the times of the Holocaust, the Nazi’s exterminated all people that are Jews. They put the Jews In concentration camps and undeserved murders just because they were Jews. ( http://www. Sham. Erg/wall/en/) Another theme of “The Crucible” is when rumor or hysteria takes the place of reason and justice. In “The Crucible”, a girl named Abigail hyped up many other girls to pretend to have been under someone’s evil spirit or possessed. They started to accuse people by saying “l saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osborn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil! “(Miller, peg. 1 262) The allegations that Abigail and the girls made the accused people’s reputations plummet to where even if they survived, they’d be looked down upon.
In modern times, rumors and hysteria causing injustice still takes place. For example, the case about the scandal of the Duke Lacrosse team can be one example Of rumors ruining people’s lives and reputation. The Duke Lacrosse team got accused by two stripers/escorts who claims that the team raped them. The stripers’ story changed numerous amounts of times and there was absolutely no substantial evidence. Moreover, the accused rape victims got all of their rape charges dropped and got counted innocent. (http://www. Decelerators. S/) Unfortunately, even though they all got proven innocent, the public would always remember the scandal and their reputation will never get restored how it was ever again. In addition, the McCarthy trials are another example of modern predicament that rumors can ruin lives of. Innocent people got laid off from their jobs during these trials because the accused refused to confess that they were communists under oath. The fear of the nation being mobbed by communists led to the McCarthy trials which have uncanny similarities to the Salem witch trials.
These trials are the primary influence that led Arthur Miller to write “The Crucible” . In addition, Salem also did not comply with the basic fundamentals of “innocent until proven guilty. ” In Salem, during this era, they went by “guilty until proven innocent. ” There was no evidence to prove or disprove innocence because as Judge Detonator, in “The Crucible” , states “Witchcraft is an invisible crime. Who may be a witness to it? Therefore, we must rely On her victims” (Miller, 1301) The times Of prejudice and threatening is the leading reason why the general public considers the accused guilty.
In “The Crucible”, innocent people were accused and arrested without any proof thus considered guilty by their peers and court of law and moreover their good name soiled. In modern times, “innocent until proven guilty” still does not always comply in today’s society as well. During the McCarthy trials, many people were called in for interrogation simply because they were named for supposed Communist connections. The accused people that were tried in court resulted their jobs and social status even when they were found innocent.
Overall, “The Crucible” is a play that Arthur Miller wanted to write to show the readers not to prejudge and how ridiculous positions can turn when fear and prejudice occur. Stereotyping, prejudice, and predetermining cases can turn a little situation to an out of control dilemma. This not only affects certain individuals but can affect the whole innocent community into a war. Arthur Miller chose to revive the story of the Salem witch trials during the similar case of the McCarthy trials to help the society refresh how horrid the witch trials ended; furthermore, prevent this from happening unceasingly ever again.