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Critique of Religion in The Crucible Essay


Throughout Millers novel The Crucible, religion is heavily criticized and the institution of it in Salem. Criticism is displayed when Abigail reveals her hatred for Salem and the key values the town lived by: 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 (I. 22). Abigail criticized the way religion was taught and the context of religion in Salem. Miller argues that Salems teachings to the people amongst one another was wrong doing with the fact that few people such as Abigail saw them as too drastic or immorally wrong. Abigails hatred for Salem led to an eventual downfall of the town as it came to witchcraft.

Another example of religious criticism was how John Proctor viewed the governments perspective of Abigail. Proctor claimed if the girls a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove shes fraud, and the town gone so silly. She told it to me in a room alone- I have no proof for it (II. 51). John Proctor believes the government of Salem has gone corrupt because of the religious view placed on Abigail. Abigail is known to be an angel, and no one would believe it unless evidence was found. Religiously speaking, if people like Abigail, mischievous and wicked, were considered angels, the beliefs of those people would spread into the minds of everyone who listened. The towns faith in Abigail proved to be a mistake. Believing strictly in the power of the religions all being to decide whom the saints, the people could be easily misled.

A final example of religious criticism is when John Proctor says that the town believes too easily anyone who claims to have spoken to God or the Devil. Proctor believed that 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 (II. 73). John Proctor claims that Salem has remained the same, but Abigail and her friends are threatening the safe order of matters. Abigail desires to get rid of Elizabeth and get revenge on Proctor for refusing to take her back. People were easily tricked and had unintentionally given power to children in fear of religion. In Salem, religious criticism was common due to multiple contributing factors such as ignorance, gullibility, and fear of religious punishments.

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