In The Crucible, the townspeople of Salem have caught a “satanic-panic” fever. They are so scared of witches soiling their holy town that one rumor kills twenty-three people. In a town where the truth is suppose to prevail, the ones accused of witchcraft proclaim their innocence. Yet, no one believes them. The children who lie, to save themselves, are, however, believed. On page 131, Elizabeth asks, “What do you want of me?” This quote, to me, best explains the theme through out the book.
Salem is a theocracy run by the Puritan religion. This religion strongly emphasizes the attribute of being trustworthy. So when these innocent people are accused, they turned to the truth, but it wasnt their to save them. None of the authorities in this matter would listen to “the truth” because they thought, having the power, that they know what the truth was. If they were found guilty, they would lose their land, their only asset to pass on to their children. So, their only option was to lie or to blame someone else.
The accused were forced to claim that another witch had sent her spirit out on her and forced her to do the ungodly act. Then one was torn between following their religion or saving their family. Thus, the quote, “what do you want of me?” comes into play. Ones conscience is split in half–morality or loyalty. In Salema town running rampant with religionyou would think that the truth would set you free, but not here. Now it is used against you.
Why Study Religion It seems as if there has never been a time known to man when there has never been a religion in some guise or another. Nor has there been a race of people who have never tried to practice it in some shape or form. The study of religion should not be regarded as a new venture for mankind or a new idea that man is trying to grasp and understand. Also, it could be argued that by ...
It traps you. It holds your family down. It puts your loved ones in jail. So, once again you have to ask yourselfmorality or loyalty. There is only so much that one can take, and I think that Elizabeth shows that she is breaking when she asks this. She can not lie like the others, but she feels like she must contemplate the idea.
The simple fact that the townspeople want to hear what they think is “right,” but in a town where the truth will set you freeyou must lie to save yourself, and your family.