The Crucible': Danger of Making Assumptions

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In the play, 'The Crucible' Arthur Miller writes about a fire and its representation of hysteria and a crucible to depict that in times of hysteria, making assumptions will only create additional chaos and paranoia by leading one further from the truth.

The concept of fire through symbolism and a biblical allusion demonstrates that assumptions will only lead one further from the truth. In Act One, when Goody Putnam mentions the death of all her children but one, she justifies this by claiming “in this village. [there are] fires within fires” (26) when mentioning the fires, Miller alludes to the bible in Ezekiel’s vision of the four saints in which he describes a scene of confusion and chaos which is used to represent the present circumstances in Massachusetts where Goody Putnam assumes that because of supposed witches running loose, the town has dissolved into chaos. By assuming that, the witches running loose are the root cause of the current panic and the sickness of the children Goody Putnam lead the discussion further away from the truth, that the children had become sick not because of witchcraft but because of fear and shock. Thus demonstrates that because of reckless assumptions made, one will only stray further from reality, proceeding to exacerbate the situation with fabricated lies. Furth more during the court session, Judge Danforth uses fire to represent their court as one that reveals the truth declaring that “we burn a hot fire here, it melts down all concealment”.

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Through the symbolism of the fire, representative of a crucible, Judge Danforth asserts that the court is just and gets to the bottom of matters by comparing them to a fire that would melt away the cover of anything to reveal the truth at hand. However in declaring their omniscience, Danforth assume that under him they are able to come to the truth no matter what which leads them to believe that at present there really are numerous witches in town. In reality, there really are no witches but because of the Judges presumptuous character he believes that he is right which only reveals that because of one’s presumptuous character, the matter at hand will only create further confusion and hysteria as then, the truth is neglected and refused to be acknowledged.

In summary, though Arthur Miller use of the fire, one can realize the danger of assumptions and its detrimental impact on a society as it leads one further from the truth until it is too late to recognize the truth.

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The Crucible’: Danger of Making Assumptions. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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