The Crucible/Puritanism Paper
!.?. !? Puritanism Paper “I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem– revenge is strolling Salem. We are what we constantly were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the secrets of the kingdom, and common revenge composes the law!” (Miller’s The Crucible Act II, Pg. 77). The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play that focuses on the Salem witch hunts, which happened during the late 17th century. The play opens in Salem, Massachusetts during 1692 with a group of women who are ill, with the signs of hallucinations and seizures.
These sicknesses were credited to the devil or his servants in the heavily populated Puritan town. Talk of witchcraft was brought on by this illness. It did not take long prior to the people of Salem started to accuse other villagers of handling the devil and performing witchcraft. Most “witches” were on the other side of old animosities and jealousies that drove the accuser to make the allegation in the very first location. The greatly spiritual Massachusetts federal government and judicial system began to figure out the mass hysteria, which just made matters worse, as innocent were found guilty and hung.
Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford is a book that information the arrival and settlement of the Puritans in the New World. The book likewise details the years following settlement and the challenges the Puritans encountered. Overall Depravity, the Perseverance of the Saints, Unconditional Election, and Minimal Satisfaction were tenets that the Puritans utilized to justify their actions and their theocratic society. The Puritan tenet of Overall Wickedness was utilized to justify the Puritan’s actions. The tenet of Overall Wickedness states that through Adam and Eve’s fall, everyone is born wicked, which is the concept of Initial Sin.
This tenet is show, in Miller’s The Crucible, when Rebecca Nurse is found guilty of being a witch. Rebecca has actually been a pious lady all her life, however due to the fact that Mrs. Putnam had 7 kids that passed away and implicated Rebecca, she is considered a witch. When Rebecca Nurse was jailed, Proctor questions the line of idea that went through Hales’ head, “‘… But it’s difficult to think so pious a woman be privately a Devil’s bitch after seventy year of such excellent prayer.’ ‘Aye. But the Devil is a clever one, you can not deny it …'” (Miller’s The Crucible Act II, Pg. 64). Even though Rebecca Nurse has actually always ived a holy life, an allegation from Mrs. Putnam put her in prison for helping and working for the Devil. Proctor asks how she might be considered a witch when she has actually had “seventy year of such good prayer” (Miller’s The Crucible Act II, Pg. 64) but Hale states that everyone, no matter just how much they are devoted to God, can be the Devil’s servant. Since the Puritans believed that everyone has a predisposition to be evil, Rebecca is condemned and put in jail. Another tenet that the Puritans used to validate their theocratic society was the Perseverance of the Saints.
The theocratic society was validated under the tenet, Perseverance of the Saints– which states “those chosen by God have full power to translate the will of God” (Standard Puritan Beliefs Handout). In Miller’s The Crucible, when the reports of witchcraft started, Tituba was the first accused and she is provided the alternative to admit to her criminal activities and be forgiven. Hale states that she should have no fear informing them the names of the other witches and that she is “… God’s instrument put in our hands to find the Devil’s representatives amongst us.
You are selected, Tituba, you are picked to assist us cleanse our town … face God– face God, Tituba, and God will secure you.” (Miller’s The Crucible Act I, Pg. 46). Hale, a religious leader thinks that Tituba was sent from God to help the search for witches. Whatever the religious leaders said, the Puritans listened, as the leaders had ultimate authority in the town, with the exception of God himself, and the full power to analyze God’s will. By doing this of thinking offered a significant quantity of power to the spiritual leaders, powers such as to speak for God himself.
This is shown when Hale forgives Tituba in God’s name stating “God will bless you for your help” (Miller’s The Crucible Act I, Pg. 47). The tenet of Unconditional Election was another tenet the Puritans used to justify theocratic society. Genuine Election is the tenet that states that “God ‘saves’ those he wishes” (Basic Puritan Beliefs Handout) which is the concept of predestination. The Puritans interpreted this to mean that they were God’s selected which they had God to supervise them. A good example of this takes place in William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, when the Puritans are taking a trip to the New World.
When a sailor, who was not liked on the ship, fell sick and passed away, Bradford stated that “… it pleased God … to smite this boy with a severe disease …” (Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation Book 1 Chapter IX, Pg. 44). Not long after, a favored sailor called John Howland fell overboard and was tossed into the sea, but conserved as “… it delighted God that he seized topsail halyards …” (Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation Book 1 Chapter IX, Pg. 45). According to the tenet, God “picked” to save the worthy sailor compared to the unethical sailor who grew sick and died.
The Puritans translated the two occasions to imply that God penalizes those who are wrong, and rewards those who are honorable. These analyses caused the Puritans trying to live honorable and honest lives to stay in God’s great eye. To validate the Puritan’s actions, the Puritans also used the tenet of Irresistible Grace. The tenet of Alluring Grace states that “God’s grace is easily given, it can not be made or rejected …” (Standard Puritan Beliefs Handout). This tenet is used in Miller’s The Crucible as the accused witches are given the choice to confess and be forgiven.
As Tituba is implicated of being a witch, she starts to confesses to her “crimes” and is used protection and forgiveness if she provides the names of other witches to Hale, “Take guts, you should provide us all their names … the Devil is out … God will bless you for your aid.” (Miller’s The Crucible Act I, Pg. 47). Although, Tituba has dedicated the supreme sin of colluding with the Devil himself, she is forgiven by Hale and God as she confesses to practicing witchcraft and provides the names of the other witches.
The Puritans used this tenet to justify their actions to discover the witches. If an accused individual can save their life in the earthly and the heavenly world by just “confessing” and accusing somebody else, then the Puritans can continue to hang people for being witches. The Puritans utilized this tenet to lure individuals to confess and implicate others of being witches. To justify their actions and their theocratic society, the Puritans used the tenets of Overall Depravity, the Determination of the Saints, Unconditional Election, and Tempting Grace.
The Puritans utilized Total Wickedness to validate putting Rebecca Nurse in jail for witchcraft, even though she was a pious woman all her life due to the fact that the Puritans thought that nobody is safe from the wiliness of the Devil. The Perseverance of the Saints was used to validate calling Tituba as a gift from God and forgiving her in God’s name. The tenet of Unconditional Election was used to motivate the Puritans to live worthy and sincere lives. Lastly, the tenet of Irresistible Grace was used to find more witches, as the presently implicated would release themselves from sins by admitting and calling somebody else as a witch.