When first starting The Crucible the thing I was fairly unnerved. Almost immediately I noticed the concept of the ‘private life’ of a citizen becoming entwined with the affairs of the state. Salem being a theocracy relied on the same source for moral guidelines as it did for laws: The Bible. This makes the private affairs of the citizen the business of the system of government as sinning was considered a crime. Private life seems almost demonized as an individual’s sins and soul are deemed public concerns for a sinner would be a threat to the state. Even being associated with deviance from the strict adherence to the Bible could result in destruction of reputation as seen with Reverend Parris and his ties to Betty and Abigail. These girls are alleged to have practiced witchcraft in the forest and because of his association to Betty and Abigail, Reverend Parris fears his enemies will drive him out of ministerial office. State officials patrol the town asking people to list their activities making it nearly impossible to obtain privacy. As well as the patrols, the citizens of Salem themselves act as spies (of sorts), spreading rumors of potential transgressions of their neighbours. The whole foundation of civilian life in Salem seems to be based off paranoia and intolerance of others. It becomes apparent early on in the Crucible that to disagree with the state is to disagree with God, and through this a sense of paranoia grows for one never knows if one is being watched or what activity might be considered sinful to someone else.
Posted in blogs, lb4-2014 | Tagged with miller, the crucible