The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a movie that focuses on the conflict and resolution that occurred during the Salem witch trials during 17th century Puritan New England. After a group of young girls are found dancing and chanting during the night in the middle of the woods, strange things begin to happen within the small town. Conflict arises when Reverend Parris, the local minister, discovers the girls in the forest being led by a black slave named Tituba. Two girls out of the group, including Reverend Parris’s daughter, Betty, fall into a coma-like state after they have been caught in the forest.
This causes the town to start to question if witchcraft plays a factor in their sicknesses. Reverend Parris’s niece, Abigail, who is the main character of the story, denies that anything more than dancing happened in the woods, and threatens the girls that were involved to be silent about the situation. As concern arises, Reverend Hale, a minister from out of town, known for his experience in being able to diagnose witchcraft, comes into Salem to examine the girls who are sick. Hale is soon is able to construct an argument regarding the girls’ intentions on that night in question in the forest.
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The young girls are then accused of conjuring spirits, and to take the focus off of them, Abigail leads them into acting as if they can see spirits. The girls, afraid of consequences that they will have to face, then start to accuse many townspeople of witchcraft, which starts the Salem witch trials. In The Crucible, conflict is explored in different ways. Although there is much conflict within these characters themselves, one that is emphasized during the story is between Abigail and John Proctor, a farmer who has had an affair with Abigail in the past.
Abigail still has feelings for Proctor, despite the fact that he has told her their relationship is over, and she brings accusations against Proctor’s wife, Goody, in hopes of the getting back together with him. It is only after Goody is put in jail that John Proctor decides to expose Abigail’s intention and fraud during these trials. But when accused of witchcraft himself, he struggles with if he should admit guilt in order to save his own life. When he refuses to sign his name to the public document, which will be kept on the church door, he is put back in jail and accused of being with the devil, alongside his wife.
Goody is carrying their child, and she will be spared until the child is born, and John wants to keep his good name for his children. Abigail runs away when she realizes that her plan of being with John Proctor has not worked as expected. The trials and accusations continue, and many people are executed for their alleged dealings with the devil. Hale attempts to convince the accused to confess rather than hang, but all refuse. Conflict is explored throughout The Crucible in many different ways. The court’s resolution to these conflicts is the execution of many townspeople.
Many characters in this story have inner conflicts of their own, and resolutions differ in each situation. Abigail left the town, running away from the situation that she had created. John Proctor does not end up admitting to his adultery or the witchcraft accusations that have come upon him, and will die because of it. The conflict central to the story itself is that between conformity to the religious practices of the community and each individual’s conscience. The Salem community enjoys its uniform lifestyle and the town is thrown into chaos when these trials begin. Everyone suspects each other and Salem is changed forever.
The young girls, afraid of being punished, turn the attention on everyone else in order to escape prosecution. Although many internal conflicts are illustrated in The Crucible, the main conflict is the court against the townspeople and the idea of witchcraft. In order to prevent any further problems with witchcraft, the courts sentence many to be hung. In the 17th century, change was not welcome, much like today, but the actions used to treat and prevent these changes were extreme. In today’s society, we still deal with the problem of people not wanting to conform, and this will be an issue that will probably never be resolved.