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Puritan Women’s Value of Piety Contradictory in the Crucible


The Crucible presents ladies on a narrow spectrum showing the culture of the Puritan New England and the “cult of true womanhood.” Much of the play’s central disputes exist since of limitations on the rights of ladies, and their low status in society. The status of the Puritan white male permits the infringement of females’s essential human rights to be overlooked by the public.

The function of ladies and the theme of misogyny or suspect of women is an undercurrent theme in The Crucible.

According to the ideals of the “cult of true womanhood”, females were expected to embody best virtue in 4 primary elements: piety, purity, submission, and domesticity. Piety preserved that a woman is more religious and spiritual than a man. Yet, in Miller’s play ladies were more vulnerable to sin. Eve’s corruption, in Puritan eyes, reached all women, and justified marginalization them within social opportunities. In The Crucible, the perfect of femininity is presented within the traditional function of subservience, absence of voice, and suffering.

The two female characters, Elizabeth Proctor and Tituba, both subordinate to their partners and master, respectively, and in the spiritual life of both home and church. The fate of both characters; Elizabeth Proctor’s loss of her hubby, and Tituba’s execution as a witch, supplies a standing review of the Puritan ideal of women transcending in embodying the Puritan religiosity juxtaposing the subordination of their gender. The virtue of piety verifies that a female is naturally spiritual. Subsequently, it is a woman’s job to raise her kids to be good Christians and keep her partner on a strait and narrow path.

Wives are totally responsible if their hubbies disobey the rules, especially infidelity. In The Crucible, this idea is declared with the character Elizabeth Proctor. Elizabeth is the perfect Puritan woman as she exemplified the concepts of the piety, submissiveness, and purity. Throughout the play, she proves to be ethical, cold, and figured out. As John states in Act 2, “Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!” (Miller 53) Yet, the “cult of true womanhood” needs her to be inclined to conceal the gentler emotions, while her manners are calm and cold, rather than complimentary and impulsive.

Abigail, the girlfriend, represents the opposite. She is young, attractive and produces a zest of life. A passion that Elizabeth does not have. John Proctor communicates this when he seasons the pot of stew Elizabeth is cooking. Within Act II, scene one opens with John Proctor walking into the cooking area. His partner is missing however there is stew cooking. He lifts the ladle from the pot, tastes it, and adds a pinch of salt. The significance of this brief scene may justify his affair with Abigail and a contradiction of Puritan society. Elizabeth embodies the ideal of a Puritan woman, but her Puritan husband does not prefer it.

After she has actually spent a couple of months alone in prison, Elizabeth concerns this realization: she was a cold better half, and it was because she did not show love to her partner that her marital relationship suffered. She pertains to think that it is her coldness that caused his affair with Abigail. In addition, it is with this situation that develops to her informing a lie to conserve her partners credibility. “In her life, sir, she have actually never ever lied. There are them that can not sing, and them that can not weep– my partner can not lie. I have actually paid much to learn it” (Miller 103). John Proctor states that his partner, Elizabeth wont inform a lie.

Nevertheless, she lies in an attempt to save his life. And as such, lying to save a relative’s life or reputation is justified. Throughout the play, Elizabeth is illustrated as being one without sin. It is a scene in Act 3 she lies in court, stating that John and Abigail’s affair never took place. This is allegedly the only time she has actually ever depended on her life. Though she depends on an attempt to secure her hubby, it in fact results in his death. She is confronted in Act 4 to encourage her husband in providing the false confession of being a witch. However she declines. Hale disagrees with this.

He says “‘It is incorrect law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, female, life is God’s the majority of precious gift; no principle, nevertheless marvelous, may validate the taking of it … it may well be God damns a phony less than he that throws his life away for pride'” (Miller 122). Hale indicates that John’s death is a waste of life and “God’s most valuable present.” Hence Hale’s reasoning with Elizabeth is to let her pertain to terms with her obligation with her other half’s sin and let her be liable for the affects of her choice in not lying once again to safeguard him from the gallows.

Besides gender inequality, racism was very widespread in Puritan society. As such, the character Tituba is not just limited by her race, but likewise by her gender. She was the first person to be accused and admit to witchcraft in the village. Initially she denied that she had any involvement with witchcraft, but was then rapidly coerced into confessing to having actually spoken with the Devil. Tituba offers the following confession: “He say Mr. Parris need to be kill! Mr. Parris no goodly guy, Mr. Parris indicate guy and no mild male, and he bid me rise out of my bed and cut your throat! They gasp.

But I inform him “No! I do not hate that male. I do not want kill that guy.” However he state, “You work for me, Tituba, and I make you totally free! I give you quite dress to use, and put you method up in the air, and you gone fly back to Barbados!” And I say,” You lie, Devil, you lie!” And after that he come one stormy night to me and he say, “Look! I have white individuals belong to me.” And I look– and there was Goody Good” (Miller 44). In the chosen quote she lies and provides an incorrect confession of witchcraft in addition to the name of another witch in the area to hopefully save herself from going through the gallows.

Though Tituba admits her supposed sin, she is not provided a totally free pass like the others who confessed. Instead, she is condemned to death. The fact that she was convicted at all shows that the Puritan society is inherently bias. In The Crucible, Titibua is portrayed as an indirect things within an elite discourse of religious freedom and slavery. The Puritan society was consumed with keeping up a veneer of spiritual piety and correct moral conduct. The play’s setting of the woods in the opening scene represents the embodiment of an unmanageable wildness.

It is there where she held power and peril while she takes part in necromancies in the woods. Being an outsider makes her most likely to be in associates with the Christian Devil. Before being brought to Massachusetts, Tituba never considered her singing, dancing, and spell casting as evil. Such practices were spiritual and descended from her African roots. Her spirituality had no connections to ideals of absolute excellent or evil. This is displayed in Act Four, when Tituba informs to her jailer mockingly: “Oh, it be no Hell in Barbados.

Devil, him be pleasure-man in Barbados, him be singin’ and dancin’ in Barbados. It’s you folks– you riles him up ’round here; it be too cold ’round here for that Old Kid. He freeze his soul in Massachusetts, but in Barbados he just as sweet” (Miller 113). The paradox of the ill treatment of Tituba’s religious outsider status is the truth Puritans migrated to the New World to run away spiritual persecution. They sought to reveal their faith freely, yet similarly boasted fantastic suspicion to others who were various.

And as such, it can be inferred that Miller’s belief is that in spite of the Puritans’ self-proclamation of individualism, they exhibit as much intolerance as the European powers that set out to manage them. The Puritans failed to learn from the persecution of their ancestors. The persecution of Tituba and her “heathen” spiritual practices show this conflict. In The Crucible, it was seen that women were more likely to employ in the Devil’s service than was a guy, and women were considered lustful by nature as seen with the character Abigail. Ironically, Puritan females are valued for having a greater sense of religiosity.

Practically all the accused who were locked up and performed for the criminal activity of witchcraft were ladies who were social outcasts or predominant in the community. Tituba was a social castaway as she was a slave and Black woman. Elizabeth Proctor was a virtuous female but was marred by her partner’s affair with their house servant. The village’s issue with Tituba’s various faiths and expressions shows the hypocrisy of Puritan intolerance, and John Proctor’s engagement in adultery highlights a disparity with the Puritan suitable of its ladies.

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