The Crucible

The Crucible Mini Essay

Adherence to the expectations and values of society is seen as an avenue to belonging in the CrucibleThe crucible depicts Salem as a society which is built on the foundations of strict rules and values, however at the same time, the character are portrayed as having private thoughts which are against society. This conflict is a destructive force in society and is the price of public belonging.
In the Crucible, it is shown that power is a factor which influences individuals to belong as it is those in power who enforce the repercussions of non-conformity. As Danforth compares the court to a crucible where heat reduces things to its elements, his metaphor shows that as they ‘burn a hot fire here, it melts down all concealment.’ This shows that those in power, such as Danforth, add pressure which is when the true conflict between public belonging and private non-conformity is revealed and this destructive force is unleashed. John Proctor begins Act 3 by referring to ‘A fire, a fire is burning!’, where he feels that his respectability has been ruined. This figurative language involving fire invokes the image of the crucible that Danforth mentioned earlier. This extensive metaphor is also used to show that those in power too cannot escape the highest form of judgement in the play – self judgement as proctor repeats ‘we will burn, we will burn together!’. As pressure is placed on individuals in society by those in power, pretences are broken down.