In literal terms, a crucible is a little metal bowl used to heat metals to break them down into their original elements. In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, the title plays a very important role in symbolizing what the characters themselves go through. They were put to the test and broken down to see what their original feelings and thoughts were. Miller easily shows the crucible experience in 3 main characters. He shows this by showing each characters" original motivation, how their motivations ended up changing, and also by showing what type of people they turned out to be in the end after the crucible experience was all said and done.
The three characters that I am going to examine are Abigail, Hale, and John Proctor. But as it is the case with most characters in this book, each of the three main characters had a goal they wanted to accomplish or a set motivation in the beginning. Abigail was the teen-aged niece of Parris, who first suspected witchcraft upon the girls. Once Abigail had been suspected, she would do anything to seem innocent and get the blame off her. She would tell lies, and most of all, blame others for the witchcraft. "I saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil!" "I saw Goody Booth with the Devil!" (48). Not only was she trying to clear her name of witchcraft, but she also had an affair with Proctor in the past and was trying to convince him that he loved her like she did. Proctor was a fair man, he knew he did wrong with Abigail and wanted it gone and forgotten, not to be known by any others than those few who already know. On top of that ordeal with Abigail, Proctor was also trying to lessen the power that Parris had in the church. John saw Parris as a greedy man and didn't like the things he was doing with the church, so he rarely attended and wanted Parris out of the church. "Parris-"There is a party in this church. I am not blind;" Proctor-"Against you? Why, then I must find it and join it.