In the book The Crucible by Arthur Miller may different themes are shown throughout the acts.
The themes make the book a lot more meaningful after reading the book and grasping what Miller is really trying to say. Mass Hysteria shows how each girl believes how dark of a person Abigail really is. Justice shows the whole court is not corrupt and there are some good people still left in Salem. Last but not least, the importance of each character’s reputations and how they are viewed by others is a huge key in this book because each person cares so much about it. The themes mass hysteria, justice, and importance of reputation are portrayed throughout the book, The Crucible.
The theme of mass hysteria is displayed throughout The Crucible. Particularly, they show it when they all agree with Abigail when seeing the bird, even though there is not one. Subsequently, it is brought to light that Abigail is the captain of the girls. As Danforth is talking, he is interrupted by her looking at the rafters. In attempt to convince the court, Abigail “screams up to the ceiling” and seems to be “in a genuine conversation with the bird” (Miller 114-115). There is no bird, but it represents mass hysteria because Abigail actually gets the girls to believe and follow her.
Additionally, the girls copy Abigail when she gets cold. Abigail believes the cold wind is sent by Mary Warren. In an attempt to prove this to the court, Abigail wraps “her arms about her as though cold” and her eyes “fall on Mary Warren” (108). Abigail claims she is cold so the court will think that Mary sent a shadow upon her. In both cases, the girls and Abigail create mass hysteria. The theme of justice is displayed though The Crucible also.
Primarily they show it when Danforth thinks he has done justice. Apparently, he thinks this because many people are dying and going to jail all because of his signature. Danforth believes that he is doing justice because “near four hundred are in the jails… upon my signature” and “seventy-two are condemned to hang” (87).
He feels he deserves credit for putting the people in jail who will not confess to witchcraft. Additionally, Hale quits the court. When Danforth is unwilling to allow Proctor and Giles to leave and return with lawyers to present evidence, Hale becomes concerned that the court is corrupt and that the judges are corrupt so “he denounces these proceedings” (120). Hale clearly no longer believes the court is honest.
When Danforth keeps sending people to jail for witchcraft, he is doing justice. Hale also is taking a stand when he quits the court because he feels it is corrupt. Both instances show the theme of justice being visible throughout The Crucible. The importance of reputation is a theme also portrayed in The Crucible. Particularly, Reverend Parris does not want to tell the court about seeing the girls for fear he.