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Feminism and The Crucible

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Mitchell Thom

on 30 November 2010

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Transcript of Feminism and The Crucible

The Crucible Answer the following:
1) Write down what you want to do as a career, your hobbies, and what you like to do with your friends.
2) How are women in The Crucible portrayed? Has this portrayal changed over time?
3) Are men and women different simply because of biology?
4) Is The Crucible an accurate representation of gender norms? Who has the dominant role, the men or women? Reading your answers to the first question:
What roles would women be able to be a part of in society back then? Almost none of them! In the 1600's, during the Scientific Revolution, it was believed that since women had smaller skulls than men that they were intellectually inferior to men. "How do you go to Salem when I forbid it? [...] I'll whip you if you dare leave this house again!" (Miller 55) It's hard to become a part of the court when you're not allowed to go into town. That was what Mary Warren wanted to do, that was something she wanted to do in her life, but since she was controlled by John Proctor, a man, she was punished for disobeying him. So, what were women's roles back then? Cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, and other types of housework will be your day job. To summarize: THE LAW’S RESOLUTIONS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS, (1632)
states bluntly, that: a) Sect. viii. That which a husband hath is his own. Sect. viii. That which a husband hath is his own
b) Sect. ix. That which the wife hath is the husband's. In this play, we can see that the woman's body itself is also
property of their husband. “I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!”(24) In this quote, Abigail tells Proctor that she never realized before how women run after men that treat them so badly. Proctor, for instance, uses her for sex while he has a wife, so we can see Abigail as an example of a woman being used for her body.
Abigail seems to be the only woman who realizes that this is wrong. More Examples of Feminism in The Crucible “for a man to say that Martha Corey had come into his bedroom at night(...) his satisfaction at confessing himself was no lighter than if it had been Martha herself” (7). Why must the woman be the scapegoat; why is it always the woman's fault? The roles in the novel that women portray:
Abigail: Iago-esque, a liar. Kills many people in order to keep her innocence. Easily disliked by audience/readers
Mary Warren: a slave
Mercy: a fat, ugly girl
Ann Putnam: an unintelligent woman who thinks her pubescent daughter is becoming detached from her because of witchcraft.
Tituba: a slave
Elizabeth: Proctor's wife. She was cheated on and didn't even confront her husband about it.
Giles Corey's wife: A victim of the Salem Witch Trials although completely innocent
Almost all of the convicted people are women.

“There is a murdering witch among us, bound to keep herself in the dark” (16). Mercy suggests to Abigail that beating Betty would wake her up and that she had already tried it on Ruth. (18) The way John Proctor treats Mary Warren --> feminism Proctor grabs Mary Warren’s neck
and throws her to the ground when she refuses to prove Elizabeth innocent with him. All the girls together are a mischevous group. They are responsible for the deaths and arrests of many people. How women are portrayed. 1) For example, a doctor, getting your nails done, and going out to main street with friends.
2) Women are portrayed as the characters the audience would not like. For instance, Abigail isn't likeable at all, and Mary Warren seems to be a whiney character, who, in the end, leads to the Protagonist's demise. They are in general portrayed as characters who are secondary to men. This portrayal has changed slightly since we can now see today movies with women as protagonists or characters superior to men; however, we still see many movies where the woman is the damsel in distress.
3) Men and women are not different because of biology; however, the reason they may be viewed today as the weaker gender may be because of days in the far past where physical ability would judge your authority. This has likely carried over through the generations.
4) The Crucible is an accurate representation of gender norms in the 1600's. The men clearly have the dominant role in the novel. I didn't make a cool shape, sorry :) Kidding )
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