Viewing The Crucible with a Feminist Lens Essay

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To be seen and not heard; a quality shared by the inanimate object, and the conventional woman. Society has conformed women into accessories, and therefore, literature has followed suit. Inherent in this ideology, are many base traits attributed to women. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible exploits these traditional feminine characteristics to aid the female character in her role of complimenting the male.

When observing something from an alternate perspective it can take on a whole new meaning. Studying novels from different lenses can seem as if you are reading a different work than the author intended. A feminist lens allows the reader to look past obvious themes in the novel for the implicit or concealed misogyny within. This lens
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They were Hollywood’s beauty and the brains, and Marilyn was his living accessory. Similarly, in Miller’s plays, the women serve as accessories to the male protagonist. Their only purpose is to interest the reader in ways the male character cannot. Similarities can be drawn between Miller’s relationship with Marilyn and that of Proctor and his women. “Marilyn, eleven years his junior, was a compelling presence in his mind, if not in his life.” (Bigsby OL) So, it is understandable that their relationship would influence his play. The age gap between Abigail Williams and John Proctor is similar in the Crucible. Originally, though, in the real Salem Witch Trials, this gap was much wider. Miller narrowed it to mirror his own relationship with Marilyn. It has been rumored of Arthur and Marilyn that “his own marriage seemed increasingly cold,” echoing the Proctors conflict in the play. (Bigsby OL)

There are different categories of women in Miller’s plays. Each main female character portrays a different female stereotype. Abigail was the antagonist of the Crucible. She represents the jealous “other woman”. The hysteria begins when she and some other girls dance in the forest and experiment with witchcraft. Abigail is able to intimidate all the girls into keeping the events of that night a secret. She then initiates the indictments by accusing Tituba. “In the class structure of Salem, she finds herself inferior to all

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