Conflict Analysis in The Crucible
Uploaded by bdogg on Apr 25, 2007
Conflict Analysis in "The Crucible"
In The Crucible, conflict is explored through a variety of means as each scene is presented and it is also portrayed through the different characters. The challenge between two characters in particular, Proctor and Hale, reflects the conflict that is central to the trials in Act III. There are also many private conflicts among the lesser characters, conflicts arise too within characters themselves.
On a primary level the feeling of conflict is felt by the oppressing décor of each of the scenes.
At the beginning of Act I the setting is centered on a small bedroom in reverend Parris’s house. The narrow window of leaded panes (allowing little light and a poor means of escape), the burning candle (a flickering ‘life’), the clean sparseness (no hint of moral compromise), and the raw wood of the rafters (roughly hewn timber) gives us the impression of conflict. The conflict explored in this setting is of closed-mindedness. In a similar way conflict is explored in Act II ‘…low ceiling and the darkness of the interior…’
In Acts III and IV, even the safety of being inside your home is no longer there and the issues of the conflict are presented to the public. However there still is the sense of confinement…’the ante-room to the court is like a prison cell’.
The conflict central to the play is that between conformity to the religious practices of the community and individual conscience. The Salem community enjoys its monotonous lifestyle and frowns upon eccentric behavior. It is not open to change.
In Act III, the conflict reaches its climax, Danforth takes the role of the enforcer of the stability of the state. Everyone must be in church on the Sabbath; all children must be baptized; no one should plough the fields on a Sunday; private reading is suspect. Moreover, people who sign testaments to the good characters of people arrested by the state must themselves be arrested for questioning. Giles is held in contempt for withholding a personal confidence. Proctor had been told by Hale in Act II that it is not for him to judge whether the light of God is in Parris. All of these examples point to the denial of any right to individual conscience among the people of Salem.
In addition, Danforth’s handling of trials is overbearing and intolerant. This is highlighted by...