From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Crucible Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
The Crucible (1953) | Written by: Arthur Miller | Published by: Methuen Publishing
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
Yo what’s good son? This week on Thug Notes we separating wheat from chaff with The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
Things ain’t right up in 1692 Massachusetts where Reverand Parris’s baby girl Betty in bed straight clocked out. See, last night Parris peeped Betty freakin all pagan-like with her cousin Abigail and slave Tituba, and now word on the street is witchraft be involved- and the uptight peeps of Salem ain’t havin any of that. When the play’s hero John Proctor rolls in to see what’s what, Abigail gets all up on his baby-maker like ugly on yo mama. Apparently, Abigail used to be Proctor’s maid but got her ass tossed out when Proctor’s wife Elizabeth found her shining more than Proctor’s shoes. Straight scandalous! Even though Proctor been doggin Abigail since then, she still think that if Elizabeth was outta the picture, she’d be his new wifey. Later, word come that homies gettin accused of witchcraft left and right. Turns out, Abigail playin dirty and say Elizabeth been sippin dat witches joose. So the fuzz get all up in the Proctor’s grill and throw her ass behind bars.
So Proctor busts in to court and try to free his boo, but all dat real talk backfires and gets his ass thrown in the big house. And the only way out is by lying and admitting that he part of the devil’s posse. Proctor keeps it OG and don’t play dat game til he gets a visit from his dip Elizabeth. And eventually he decides to fess up to something he ain’t even do. When the law start sayin that they gonna need a written confession so they can show all the hood, Proctor says “Hell naw!” Cuz he ain’t gonna let them use his name on the street like dat. So he tears that sh** up, struts up to the gallows, and goes out like a gangsta. Not only is this play flowin bout events that really took place way back when, but Miller also pimpin some parable up in here. See, Miller wanted to give a big “fu** you” to 1950s McCarthyism- a time when a whole bunch of Americans started pointin fingers at they own peeps in the name of tryin to sniff out any commies. And in Miller’s mind, those snitch Americans only know guilty and not guilty. Like he say-Sparky reads quote: “Ours is a divided empire in which certain ideas and emotions and actions are of God, and their opposites are of Lucifer. It is impossible for most men to conceive of a morality without sin as of an earth without ‘sky.’… A political policy is equated with a moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence.
See the problem up in here is peoples always viewing things in extremes. To them, it’s all black and white which means that if something ain’t of God, then it must be of the devil.
So what starts out as political opposites turns in to moral opposites. Dem crooked right wingers have made it so that Capitalists are all holy, and communists ain’t nothing but devil worshippers.
But it ain’t just political power plays people trying to pawn. Naw cuz. Sometimes you just gotta stab a brutha in the back, but dress it up like you doin the world a favor.
Sparky reads quote: “Long-held hatreds of neighbors could now be openly expressed, and vengenace taken, despite the Bible’s charitable injunctions.”
What you know bout this play’s title, playa? According to Martine, a crucible is a severe test, obviously referrin to the raw grind Proctor beastin through. And if you wanna keep it mad literal, a crucible also used to melt away all da chanky bullshit on a piece of metal til all that’s left is pure, uncut, top-grade steel.
So is the play saying that Proctor is the purity that comes out of all this crooked ass mess? Are we supposed to put it all on the line for our beliefs? Maybe. But truth is, John’s death doesn’t prove nothing to nobody. You best not forget what Reverand Hale say to Elizabeth in the last act of the play:
Sparky reads quote: “cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is a mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice.
Life, woman, life is God’s most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it.”
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