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The Crucible Through the Feminist Lens
Transcript of The Crucible Through the Feminist Lens
Throughout the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, there are several examples of women being oppressed, as seen through the feminist criticism lens. Miller uses male characters to reference to women objectively to help demonstrate this. This teaches that women are oppressed not just in literature, but in life.
Examples From Other Feminist Critics
How Feminist Critics Approach Literature
Feminist scholars differentiate sex from gender and view it as a socially/culturally constructed category. But the idea that gender norms can be changed is central to feminist theory.
Definition of Feminist Criticism
Feminist literary criticism was concerned with the politics of women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature, this includes the depiction of fictional female characters. In addition feminist criticism was further concerned with the exclusion of women from the literary canon.
"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! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!" (page 22)
"She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance" (page 102)
"I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (page 45)
Abigail is fed up with being told what to do all her life and wants to be with John Proctor. His refusal to be with her sparks Abigails idea to accuse others of witchcraft and this begins to give her a taste of the power she has always wanted.
This quote shows that men underestimate a woman's ability to maintain control or power. But in reality women are able to manipulate and control others in ways that men cannot. Women deserve to have an equal amount of power as men.
In this quote Abigail is showing that she has the ability to take power. She is manipulating the others by convincing them that she has been controlled by witchcraft. This demonstrates that you should not underestimate the power of women.
"But the most obvious witch in Miller's invention upon Salem history is Abigail Williams. She is the consummate seductress; the witchcraft hysteria originates in her carnal lust for Proctor" (pg. 2)
Explication: This quote from Schissel on Arthur Miller's play shows that Abigail had been put down and told what to do the majority of her life. When she finally gained power she was able to use it to her advantage.
"From June through September of 1692, nineteen women all having been convicted of witchcraft were carted to Gallows Hill. A baren slope on Salem Hill for hanging. Many women were put in jail for months without trials until the hysteria swept through puritan Massachusetts" (The New Yorker)
Explication: This excerpt from Arthur Miller speaking of the play explains that many women were accused and mistreated during the Salem Witch trials. This shows that women were poorly treated even during the witch trials when they deserved to have a say.
Miller." Miller. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013.
Miller. ProQuest. Version 1. Proquest. 1994. 29 August 2013.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1996. Print.
By: Ryann Bloxsom, Matthew Marquis, Augustine Navarro, and Katie Willette