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The Crucible: Religion

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by

Destan Norman

on 15 February 2016

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Transcript of The Crucible: Religion

Act 1:
Analysis:
The people of Salem use religion as a justification for many of their actions. This quote shows an example of this. Salem people took land from Natives justifying it that the Natives weren't Christian and that the forest was the "Devil's last preserve" (Miller 5). The use of religion to justify actions is not only a problem seen in Salem, but is a modern problem that we still face. Groups like Isis justify taking land in the name of religion.
Quote #2:
"I want to open myself! 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 Osborn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (Miller 48).
Analysis:
Act 2:
Quote #1:
"The parochial snobbery these people was partly responsible for their failure to convert the Indians. Probably they also preferred to take land from heathens rather than from fellow Christians. At any rate, very few Indians were converted, and the Salem folk believed that the virgin forest was the Devil's last preserve, his home base and the citadel of his final stand. To the best of their knowledge the American forest was the last place on earth that was not paying homage to God" (Miller 5).
The Crucible: Religion
Quote #1:
Analysis:
Quote #2:
Analysis:
Act 3:
Quote #1:
Analysis:
Quote #2:
Analysis:
Act 4:
Quote #1 & #2:
Analysis:
Quote #3:
Analysis:
In the Crucible, many times religion is used as a justification, excuse, or cover for actions.
Introductory Idea:
In this passage Abigail blames what she was doing in the forest on the Devil. This is one of many times religion is used as an excuse for a mistake or wrong doing, this is very prevalent in the play. The use of religion as an excuse is used so often because in Salem religious beliefs were very strong. This made religion a very easy and believable explanation for anything. This is developed more further in the play.
This is seen today. Many times if someone does something wrong and they are embarrassed or fear the consequence of their actions, they will try to find a scape goat to blame their actions on.
"I'll tell you what's walking in Salem -- vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law" (Miller 77).
This quote begins to introduce the idea of how in Salem religion is being used to achieve personal desires and vendettas. the use of major beliefs to take advantage of others to reach personal gains has been something that has appeared though out history and is something that still occurs today. A prime example of this is the Red Scare. In the US, friends, neighbors, and family would accuse each other of being communist to satisfy greed or vengeance.
"In God's name, John, I cannot help
myself. I must chain them all" (Miller 78).
Here Herrick uses God to justify chaining John Proctor's wife. The use of God as a justification occurs repeatedly throughout the play. Court officials justify the sentencing of people to jail or death in the name of God.
It is very common today to see someone justify their cause in the name of some greater good. This is what is happening in Salem, people are doing crazy things and justifying it in the name of God. A current example of this is the Taliban. They do horrible acts and justify them in the name of God.
"If Jacobs hangs for a with he forfeit up his property -- that's the law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land" (Miller 96).
In Act 3, the development of how religion is being used to achieve personal vendettas is completed. Giles offers solid evidence of how many of the accused are victims of personal vendettas and desires.
I see this behavior very often. Some people will do or not do something depending on what the outcome will bring for them.
"Excellency, I have signed seventy-two death warrants; I am a minister of the lord and I dare not to take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscious may doubt it" (Miller 99).
"Now here me, and beguile yourselves no more. I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement. Them that will not confess will hang. Twelve are already executed; the names of these seven are given out, and the village expects to see them die this morning. Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now. While I speak God's law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering" (Miller 129).

"Mr. Hale, as God has not empowered me like Joshua to stop this sun from rising, so I cannot withhold from them the perfection of their punishment" (Miller 130).
At first glance it looks like Danforth is purely being strict, but in reality he is hiding behind religious beliefs. The use of religion as an excuse/cover is part of the larger overall theme of religion. Danforth claims he cannot pardon or postpone any accused because that would be wavering God's law and he cannot do that. However the real reason he won't is because he fears about his reputation. If he pardoned any accused or postponed the executions, his reputation could be tainted. The use of religion to protect one's reputation is a large part of the overall theme of religion that develops throughout the play.
A similar example is seen in Nazi Germany. Many people new going after Jews was wrong but they went along with it to protect their status in the Nazi system.
"I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up...cleave to no faith when faith brings blood" (Miller 132).
Here the development of how religion is t blame for the tragedy that has occurred in Salem is completed. Hale blames all the bad that has happened since he has arrived on his religious faith.
This passage is so important to the play and the development of the theme of religion because Hale realizes religion can be exploited to hurtful ends.
The thought of how religion is to blame for all the tragedy that has occurred begins to develop here. Hale begins to feel some doubt of the death warrants he has signed in the good belief that he was doing the Lord's work.
This passage is so crucial to the play and the theme of religion in the play because it is the first time in the play that one of the church/court officials begins to doubt the legitimacy of what is currently going on in Salem
Full transcript