What is the matter of the Crucible?

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a critical theme contained by The Crucible is the role that hysteria can play in tearing apart a community. Hysteria supplants logic and enables empire to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing improbable and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on. Source(s): sparknotes

The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism. Because of the theocratic make-up of the society, moral laws and state laws are one and the same: sin and the status of an individual’s soul are matter of public concern. There is no room for deviation from social norms, since any individual whose private life doesn’t conform to the established moral laws represents a threat not just to the public good but also to the rule of God and true religion. In Salem, everything and everyone belongs to either God or the devil; dissent is not merely unlawful, it is associated with satanic amusement. This dichotomy functions as the underlying logic behind the witch trials. As Danforth says in Act III, “a individual is either with this court or he must be counted against it.” The witch trials are the ultimate expression of intolerance (and slack witches is the ultimate means of restoring the community’s purity); the trials brand all social deviants beside the taint of devil-worship and thus necessitate their elimination from the community. Source(s): http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/crucible/themes.html
The Crucible - Arthur Miller

The Crucible Themes

Lies and Deceit

Most of the characters in The Crucible are lying – if not to other ancestors, then to themselves. Abigail lies about her ability to see spirits, as do the other girls; Proctor is cunning first for cheating on his wife and then for hiding it; and the judge and lieutenant governor and ministers lie to themselves and everybody else contained by saying that they serve the cause of God’s justice. The verbs in the story is that by telling the truth (“I am not a witch”), you die, but you also gain your freedom – that is, you retain your standing next to God, and you become a martyr.


Respect and Reputation

Compassion and Forgiveness

Good vs. Evil

The Supernatural




http://www.shmoop.com/crucible/themes.ht… Source(s): http://www.shmoop.com/crucible/
There are truly 4 different themes:
" A good name is more precious than life span itself"
"Under extreme pressure even the most reliable people crumble"
Sadly, I can't remember the other two Source(s): I am currently writing a Literary Analysis on it for my American Literature Class

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