Power in The Crucible

Power seems to be a huge theme in The Crucible. Before the witch trials, most people were powerless. A lot of people took advantage of the witch trials to gain power. They did this by accusing others of witchcraft to gain fame too. One of the people who I think used witchcraft to gain power is Elizabeth. Even though she may not have used it directly, she ended up being one of the last women standing.

What do you all think?





5 thoughts on “Power in The Crucible

  1. I think most people in this world would do almost anything for fame and/or power. A person could disagree with this statement but I think it’s a rare quality that is far and in between. How many little girls dream of becoming princesses and how many little boys dream of become superheroes? Being a princess would come with its fame and power but few people could deal with the paparazzi always in their face all the time. Who wants a camera in their face when they’re trying to have a quiet dinner, when they are deathly sick, or when they just want to run in and out of the store to pick up a few things? There was an episode of the Twilight Zone that adapted the story of the monkey’s paw where the shop owner got three wishes. One wish he wished for money—only to have the IRS tax him to the point to where he was penniless. Another wished he wished for leadership of a country of the current time period—he became the dictator of Nazi Germany and was almost killed. His last wish he wished for his broken glass to be repaired—only to have a baseball thrown through it. The moral of the story…everything comes with enormous prices including power and fame. In the section titled, “Echoes Down The Corridor” at the end of The Crucible, honesty cost Proctor his life, Parris was voted from office and was never heard from again after the Witch Trials had finished, and Abigail was believed to have turned to prostitution among other things. Ironic isn’t it? As far as Elizabeth goes, I believe she was almost trying to get back at Proctor for what happened between him and Abigail more than she was trying to gain power. Now if power is used to imply revenge, you may have a point there.

  2. I think people are constantly taking advantage of all situations to try and get more than someone else. Is this because people are jealous, that they are worried that someone else might get more than them? And even if this is true, so what? I don’t understand how people can only think about themselves, and personally gaining more power, but have complete disregard and not care about the people they are hurting. To relate that to today: Why do politicians not want to raise taxes on the rich? They say that it isn’t fair, that they would be discriminating against a certain group of people. But this is already happening- proportionately most poor people pay a higher percentage of taxes than the rich. So why do they do this? Are politicians, who have lots of money, not going to raise taxes on themselves? Of course not. Why take away your own money? But they recognize the situation of the poor and still don’t care. This same situation happens over and over in so many different ways. Why do some people always want to be the winner? Why can’t they have sympathy for others?

    Savanna B

  3. I didn’t see power as the prime motivator in the novel so much as fear. Though there were obvious power struggles in the beginning over land and leadership, I though it was eventually over shadowed by fear. Some feared the witches and others feared their life. In the end it came down to pride and fear. Danforth refused to stop the hangings because of his own pride, and some confessed or accused others or encouraged the hangings because of fear. I don’t think Elizabeth held the upper hand in the end. She became a single mother of four sons, her land was probably taken away and she was left with nothing-there is no power in that. I think she truly forgave Proctor but knew that he would not be able to live with himself if he lost his good name, especially in a society where ones name was everything

    ~ Christina

  4. There is certainly a prominent theme of power through lies and punishment; however, I found the power of integrity throughout the play very thought provoking. The characters that I believed to best display this idea were Giles Corey and Rebecca Nurse. Their refusal to succumb to the demands of the court show the remarkable powers of free will and nonconformity. An example of this comes in the final act when the Proctor’s discuss the fate of Giles, this examples also happens to be one of my favorite quotes in literature…

    Elizabeth: Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay…They say he gave them two words. “More weight,” he says. And died.


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