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The Crucible - Conscience - Online Term Paper

The Crucible - Conscience


Conscience is the awareness of right and wrong. In the Crucible, the idea of conscience in strongly emphasized. Miller himself said,
"No critic seemed to sense what I was after [which was] the conflict between a man’s raw deeds and his conception of himself; the question of whether conscience is in fact an organic part of the human being, and what happens when it is handed over not merely to the state or the mores of the time but to one’s friend or wife."
The idea of conscience in the play The Crucible is based very much on Christian concepts, firstly the idea of morality, or conscience of right and wrong, secondly the idea of the confession of sin, and finally the idea of guilt and ...

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is the Church. Law is based on the doctrines of the Church, and Salem is a theocracy.
"For good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity…but all organization is and must be grounded on the idea of exclusion and prohibition, just as two objects cannot occupy the same space. Evidently the time came in New England when the repressions of order were heavier than seemed warranted by the dangers against which the order was organized."
So firstly Salem was a place where the conscience of the people was strictly governed by the theocracy, and socially Salem was repressive. However, at the start of the book, we see that the people of Salem have already begun to strain under this strict idea of conscience, this repression. Abigail says to John, "I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never ...

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that Martha Corey had come into his bedroom at night, and that, while his wife was sleeping at his side, Martha laid herself donw on his chest and ‘nearly suffocated him’." We see that a new conscience has evolved, stemming from the trials, and the "balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom". The community of Salem has turned from a strict, repressive conscience to a conscience where personal gain and "common vengeance writes the law". The Church has lost its power to the Court. Mr. Hale, so revered and listened to at the beginning of the play, has practically no weight in the courts of law. "The crazy children" are now "jangling the keys of the kingdom."

Here we must ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/29/2004 11:54:16 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1685
Pages: 7

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