The Crucible is a film directed by Nicolas Hytner that depicts events in Salem in 1692. It was written by Arthur Miller and later adapted from a play by the same name. The people of Salem were devout and dedicated to serving God, and the film featured Paul Scofield (Judge), Winona Ryder, Elizabeth Proctor, and John Proctor as the main characters. The film begins with a scene of young girls dancing and singing in the woods for a secret orchestrated ritual that provides them with a stage to perform magic. The sorcery is a ruse to entice the village’s men to marry them. The first scene depicts a voodoo-like ritual with markings painted on the dirt, indicating that Tituba, a black American slave, was the ceremony’s master. Abigail Williams wishes for John Proctor’s wife to die and, in exchange, slaughters and eats the blood of hens. The girls fled into the woods as Reverend Parris (Bruce Davison) came across the case of hitting climax.
Ruth, Thomas’s daughter, and Betty, Parris’s daughter, all collapse and become unconscious after the interruption, and their parents suspect the daughters are demon-possessed. The parents seek for Reverend Hale to intervene on the issue and try to help the victims. The girls insinuate that Tituba is a witch as a means to rescue themselves from the situation. Tituba confesses that she is a witch after subjection to torture and torment. The girls were asked to name other people who practiced witchcraft and named Elizabeth Proctor, Johns’s wife. It was a tactic used to eliminate Elizabeth so that Abigail would have him as a companion. The society in Salem was religious and did not condone witchcraft, and anybody who was subjected to the cult was condemned to death if they denied the allegations. The playout of the event ended up as not expected. John defended Elizabeth against the accusation and was accused of being a witch and was hung. Elizabeth escaped the dreadful fate because she was pregnant. The Crucible is a film based on the historical film as the characters’ names resemble the exact names of the people in Salem at that time. The film projected the documentation of the trials during that period in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692.
Appearance and reality
The Theme of Appearance Versus Reality is used in the film The Crucible to emphasize that outside is not reality. The definition of appearance is something that is perceived and judged by people from the outside look. On the other hand, the reality is the opposite, where Abigail looks innocent on the outside, but she planned to kill Elizabeth. Abigail also threatens Betty and Reverend Parries Niece to be silent on the crimes she had committed, thus projecting the theme of Appearance and Reality effectively. Some of the people in the film are driven and blinded by appearance and others by lies similar to Abigail, who is friends spread lies and are ignorant. Abigail and her friend manipulate the people of Salem that witchcraft exists in the town. Mrs. Puttman wanted Tituba to communicate with the spirit of her dead babies, where Abigail and other girls joined later.
Abigail explained to her uncle what transpired in the woods. Abigail used rumors towards people she did not like in the town. Appearance Versus reality is witnessed when John lies and admits that he is a witch. He does not want his wife to be condemned to death as she is expectant and hence takes the accusations to save her. The illusion of the reality is that the village consists of witchcraft, whereas it is a lie. The people of Salem believed that the court never wrong, and no one was expected to question the judgment and the jurisdiction of its decisions. The girls were believed to be truthful, pointing out the witches in the town. It showed that anybody’s word was taken as truth; hence, anyone can manipulate their enemies into serious trouble. Appearance and reality theme could be seen when the girls pointed out the evil people in the town.
The film The Crucible is about a theocratic society where the church merged with the state to rule and expect total obedience, known as Puritanism. Moral and state laws where the same sin and matters of a person’s soul were left to be ruled by the public. There was no room for defiant people because they represented a threat to the rule of the law and society. In Salem society, a person either belonged to God’s Evil, thus determined their fate for living.
Appearance and reality is a theme that is widely shown through the characterization of different people like Abigail and his friends. Some people flourish in causing others harm in order to gain what they desire.