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The Crucible and the Truth of the Salem Witch Trials

            Although Arthur Miller's theatrical drama, "The Crucible," is a fascinating look at the chaos and tumultuousness of the Salem witch trials, it's a broad fictionalization of historical accuracy. There are many differences between the plot and characters in the play and what actually occurred during the pandemonium of this many of which can be attributed to the poetic license taken by the author, Arthur Miller. These changes make for an interesting story, but are not ideal for learning about the true events of the events that occurred in Salem Village during those tumultuous years. Though many variables were altered in the play, there are several main things that altered the story quite a bit. Three main items of focus are the character of Samuel Parris, the portrayal of Abigail and her relationships with others, and the alteration of Parris' house slave, Tituba.
             The first of several major differences to explore between "The Crucible" and the actual events that occurred in Salem is the great variance of Reverend Samuel Parris' character. Parris is often recognized as one of the most notorious characters involved in the Salem Witch Trials, and can be used as an excellent example of what happens when great religious power is left in the hands of a greedy and dishonest person. The pursuit of these so-called "witches" in Salem began in his house, and because of this tipping point became an idea deeply embedded into the minds of Americans. Parris showed a great deal of animosity and hatred towards those who opposed his views in Salem, and it is clear that Parris was actually a huge part of the reason why this whole witch-hunt began. This antipathy shown towards all opposed makes sense if Parris had such a heavy hand in starting the movement, because it would be called into question less with those of authority vehemently supporting it.
             Because of Parris' deep-seated sense of self-preservation and greed, throughout the trial he clearly cared only about retaining his status and reputation in Salem.

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