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The Crucible-symploic Significance Of Sunlight

The Crucible-symploic Significance Of Sunlight

In literature, sunlight generally functions as a universal symbol for truth and/or innocence and purity. In Act 3 of The Crucible, Arthur Miller directs that sunlight should pour "through two high windows on the back wall," rather than bathe the room, in an effort to symbolize that truth has the potential of being revealed but will ulitmately be surpressed again. In fact, that is exactly what happens when Mary Warren reveals the truth about the girls being frauds but then is coerced by Abigail into once again lying. In addition, John Proctor reveals the truth about his adultery, but the court instead chooses to believe Elizabeth when she lies on his behalf. In both instances, the truth is revealed but then distorted, obscured, or blatantly disregarded, just as the stage instructions symbolically foreshadow. In the closing scene of the play, however, Miller directs that "the new sun pours in upon Elizabeth's face" as Proctor and the others go willingly to their deaths. The sun, as used in this scene, is intended to symbolize that truth has finally triumphed, even in the face of death. It becomes apparent that these men and women have nobly and stoically concluded that one thing in life is more important than life itself: truth. Therefore, in the midst of this tragic outcome Miller seems intent on creating a sense of hope, for he has the sun bathe the innocent in this scene, signifying hope that a new era has begun--an era that the audience should be intent on preserving.

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