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Which Is Witch? Exit Women / Enter Saints in Arthur Miller’s Crucible


University of Humanities and Social Science, Tunis


This paper explores The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s dramatized version of the 1692 Salem witch-hunt, from a psycho-sociological point of view, using mainly the Girardian theoretical notions of scapegoating and sacrificial crisis as expounded in his seminal work The Violence and the Sacred (1972). The snowballing effect of paranoia in Salem is regarded, in the first part, as a means for the hide-bound and male chauvinistic community to exclude non-conventional women; and in the second part, as an outlet for the latter to challenge oppression and an opportunity to assert themselves within the community. Now given entire credit by the court of law, the female outcasts use victimization through daemonic possession as a suitable stalking horse to grow in heroic and saintly stature and gain back admission, if not vengefully attain absolute power in the community that has hitherto oppressed them.

Keywords: Arthur Miller, The Crucible, Puritanism, scapegoating, exclusion, inclusion, witchcraft, daemonism, hysteria, patriarchy, feminism



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