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The Crucible Vs The Holocaust Compare And Contrast Essay Graphic Organizer

Other Significant Symbols

To help better understand some of the deeper meanings in The Crucible, below are a list of significant symbols found within the play.

The Doll: The doll found on Elizabeth Proctor's shelf is a traditional symbol of voodoo and witchcraft. In The Crucible, the doll (as well as Rebecca Nurse) symbolizes the transformation of good to evil: dolls, in a normal society, represent childhood innocence and bring happiness. In Salem, dolls represent evil. This extends to the Puritan government and church, both being entrusted to protect its citizens, yet both doing the opposite.

The Stones: Giles Corey refuses to make an official plea in court. In order to persuade him to make a plea, officials of the court stack concrete stones on him and eventually crush him. The stones symbolize the weight of Salem's sins that are crushing the good in its society.

Elizabeth Proctor's Pregnancy: Elizabeth's execution is stalled on account of her pregnancy. This represents hope that the future may be different.

The Boiling Cauldron: The controversy begins with Salem girls running wild through the forest around a cauldron of boiling water. This cauldron symbolizes the wildness of the girls, or more specifically, their repressed sexual desire bubbling over.

John Proctor's Leaving the Courtroom: This occurs in the movie. After Proctor is accused of witchcraft, he runs into a small pond and with arms spread shouts, "God is dead." Proctor is in water, symbolic of baptism, and his arms are spread, symbolic of the Biblical Christ on the cross. Proctor sacrifices himself for the good of Salem and to honor those saints (Rebecca and Martha) who refuse to lie.

The Witch Trials: In addition to the similarities between McCarthyism and The Crucible already discussed, the trials symbolize the effect of intolerance, extremism, and hatred.

The Forest: Puritans believed that the forest was the devil's dominion. They failed to recognize, however, that Salem's evil and destruction came from within. The forest, therefore symbolizes the evil present in all humans.

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