Persecution is considered to be an inhumane act of torturing and killing people. Persecution is most commonly committed on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, and different belief systems. Discrimination is commonly shown on a basis of fear of change or someone being different in some way. Reputations are often tarnished upon opinions of others.
The Theme of persecution is represented in the film The Crucible because the women are accused of witchcraft. Many of the women in Salem were accused with little to no evidence supporting the accusations. As said in The Crucible, “We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of Hell upon her.” (Hale, Act 1) The main persecution in The Crucible was of Elizabeth, a young woman who is accused of witchcraft and brutally punished. During the Salem witch trials many people were hung after being convicted of being a witch without any evidence to incriminate them. In this movie if a finger was pointed at another and blamed as being a witch Deputy Danforth would then look for evidence to incriminate them. Many times throughout the movie friends and enemies incriminate each other by falsely accusing others by assuming they practice witchcraft. In the movie Abigail accused her enemies, friends, and family. “But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary” (Abigail, Act 3, p. 106) Abigail is envious of Elizabeth because she is John Proctor’s wife. Abigail is shown for what she really is and uses her power to send Elizabeth Proctor to jail. But Proctor later becomes a voice of reason and common sense when stating “Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers? I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem – vengeance is walking Salem. 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!” (Proctor, Act 2, p. 73), Proctor understands that accusations are most times are as truthful as the accuser. Proctor knows many accusations are being thrown out by vengeance.
It is shown that anyone in the community can turn against those of their own very quickly after perceiving someone to being different in some way. People were accusing one another of being a witch or practicing witchcraft without any proof or evidence and knowing the consequence the person being accused is going to face. The people accusing are not looking at their own behaviors. “No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack up on this village. There is too much evidence to deny it” (Hale, Act 2). I believe this quote means the community is under attack in a way but not how Hale thinks it is. Salem is surrounded with fear, suspicion, and lies. Proctor: “A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud—God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!” (Proctor, Act 3)
The Crucible applies to 21st century America because the whole country is obsessed of what other people around them are doing. By turning on the Tv or opening social media we are able to keep up on everyone’s daily lives. Many times when seeing a person one will judge them by looks, sex, religion, or how much power or money they have. There are many horrifying stories of brutal acts being committed such as shootings and beatings being done out of hate for one another. Fear is all across America just like in Salem being scared of what the future is going to be. Being scared of change and accepting others for who they are. People of all kinds have a belief system of moral “goodness” but their actions do not match just like in Salem. The Crucible also applies to 21st century America because makes the audience find a piece of themselves whether it be personal despair, failings, blaming, being envious of another, or overall judgment. The Crucible is just as important to all people in the 21st century as Salem in 1692. America has an over abundance of discrimination and in the crucible almost all the witches are judged on reputation in which all people in American have a reputation to uphold. The play shows how power is corrupt just as it is in America and often times leads to unfair and brutal events events for people to get their way.
In America and Salem many people are faced with discrimination leading to persecution. Persecution is an inhumane act of torturing and killing people commonly committed on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, and different belief systems.