The Crucible- Struggles in the Play

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a story that contains many
struggles. These struggles come about as a result of the strict
Puritan society in which the story takes place. There are two main
struggles in the book. The first never actually takes place in the
story, but is described many times throughout the first act and is the
basis for the trials. It is Abigail's and all the other girls' need to
be free and act like teenagers. The second is the result of the
corruption of the trials. It is John Proctor's fight to convince the
townspeople that the accused women are not witches (especially his
wife), and that it is Abigail who should be killed instead.

In Puritan society, the role of the child is to be quiet, and
stay out of the way. When Abigail is being considered a witch in the
first moments of the story, Rev. Paris is very worried about how this
will effect his image, and not of the fate of Abigail. It is this
society where Abigail feels the need to break loose and to act the way
a teenager should: freely. This is the reason why she goes dancing in
the forest. She is expressing her need to act her age and to break out
of the restrictions of Puritan law. Her struggle is to do what she
wants in a society that believes in ordering her around.

It becomes obvious soon after the trials started that many people
were going to be falsely accused by their neighbors as a method of
revenge, and as an outlet for their maliciousness. When Abigail uses
this case to attack Rebecca Nurse, one of the best Puritans in the
Salem, John Proctor begins his efforts to stop the injustice. This
increases when Elizabeth Proctor is tried and sentenced to death. This
is John Proctor's struggle. He must fight to save his wife, his
community and eventually himself. In addition, he also has to convince
the leaders of Salem that they are mistaken in believing in Abigail.

Although Abigail and Proctor are mortal enemies, their struggles
can be seen as almost identical. They both need to change the way the
higherarchy of Salem is doing things. And also, both of them would
just like to live normal lives (however, when Abigail realizes she
cannot have this, she goes crazy by accusing everybody). This is shown
when John Proctor breaks some of the harsher of the Puritan rule, and
that he dislikes all of the speeches about damnation given by Rev.
Paris. Unfortunately, the struggle of Abigail goes awry and results in
many people dying, while the valiant efforts of John Proctor are
unable to save Salem from one of the greatest tragedies in American
history.