Superstitions in The Crucible made an impact on many people. Superstition excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings. Arthur Miller expresses throughout The Crucible. This becomes a rumor of witchcraft that invades the small town of Salem, Massachusetts. In the puritan religion, the devil plays a very important role. The puritans believed that every bad decision made by someone was also made by the devil. Some of these sins included writing poems, listening to religious music, and watching or even performing in plays. The puritans thought this because it all brought focus away from God. It is not hard to see why the puritans believed in superstitions. Many characters were affected by this religion in many ways. In the play, Arthur Miller shows how superstition can lead to the destruction of a community. He showed us these superstitions through Ann Putnam, Reverend Hale, and Abigail Williams.
Ann Putnam is most consumed by the superstition because she already believed that something unnatural caused the deaths of her seven babies after they “shriveled in Goody Osborn hands” and it was her beliefs that started the events that happened in Salem. Ann believes that witchcraft killed her children, she exclaims, “You think it is God’s work you should never lose a child, nor grandchild either, and I have lost seven of my very own.” Ann was a major believer in superstitions because of all the bad things that happened to her family.
Crucible, as we know, means a situation of severe trial which in this context relates to the mental ability of the people of Salem to find out whether this witchcraft is real or just a hoax made up by some teenage girls, that did not want to commit their sins of dancing in the forest. There are many reasons why I claim this. On the cover page, there is a quote that says “The devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing fingers point.” And in John Proctor’s dialogue in Act lll he says “Excellency, does it not strike upon you that so many of these women have lived so long with such upright reputation.” Then Abigail Williams says “Lets either of you breathe a word about the other things, and I will bring reckoning that will shudder you.”The meaning of these quotes that I can prove is that the people of Salem, especially Abigail Williams, are using witchcraft to their advantage by accusing everyone and anyone that they dislike against them.
With these events happening, the people of Salem live in fear of “Am I the next one to get accused?” This is a result that made people hesitant towards each other and this affects society a lot. If we were to live in a town where people held grudges against each other and everyone suspected the other person of committing the act of witchcraft then even one single mistake would lead you to have a disastrous future as they might just blame you for witchcraft and you then can be taken to jail or even worse executed. Which is a good example of how superstitions can lead to a society going crazy. It says again “The devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger point.” This also is a good example because this quote in my perspective tries to state how the people of Salem should blindly follow the accusing fingers just because the devil is alive in Salem. This provides evidence on how superstition can lead to a society going crazy. If we look at John Proctor’s dialogue in Act lll on page 866 which says, “Excellency, does it not strike upon you that so many of these women have lived so long with such upright reputations.” So this gives us the insight on how blinded the people of Salem were that they failed to recognize their people and differentiate between good and evil. It also shows that people of Salem only see the lies and not the truth. So there not following what God believes and what he says in the Bible but the people of Salem are so blind sided by what’s going on they don’t know that what they are doing a sin.