The Effects of Godliness and Worldliness in the Puritan Civilization

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Updated: Oct 23, 2019
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In past civilizations, many upheld the belief that religious principles were in fact to be embedded within the present standards of the country’s economic and social status. The aspect of godliness and worldliness is still contrasted in discussions today. The effects that the two factors play on the outcome of the trials remain a prominent part of Salem and Andover’s historical prevalence. The genuinity of Miller’s work, The Crucible, resonates throughout the nation, and is praised for its dissection on the topics of Godliness, Worldliness, and both as a whole. Therefore, it is recognized for deciphering the parallels of the non-credulous McCarthy Trials and the gruesome Witch Trials of Salem and Andover.

The Salem witch trials, although centered on religiousness, evoked humanly emotions such as fear, envy, doubt, wrath, etc. In Richard B. Latner’s scholarly article he proclaims, “Those whose names are on the anti-Parris petition tried to stop Parris’s salary, defended accused witches, and had family members among the accused. Although imperfect, the petitions are credible indicators of Salem Villagers’ earlier attitudes about Parris and about the witchcraft outbreak and can be used to determine social and economic distinctions between rival village factions” (Latner 1). Latner suggest that even though GOD commands us to love thy neighbor, rising tension and wrathful intentions can still be found throughout the course, during and after, the Salem Witch Trials.

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Although, fear remains a contributing factor to the Salem Witch Trials, the church played a major role in determining the fate of the Puritans. The scholarly article suggest “Several adolescent girls in Salem Village began to exhibit strange and alarming symptoms that some of their parents quickly came to interpret as the result of witchcraft” also, “Church was the cornerstone of the mainly Puritan society of the 17th century” (Heyrman 1). Puritan laws were extremely rigid and the members of society were expected to follow a strict moral code. Due to this fact, anything that was believed to go against this code was considered a sin and deserved to be punished. The Puritans also believed strongly in the wrath of God and did everything they could to prevent themselves from receiving it. This is why the witch scare was taken so seriously and the accused were punished harshly. The first women to be accused as witches were those who strayed from the Puritan lifestyle and were considered to be social outcasts.

The connection between religion and worldliness in the crucible still baffle its readers today. In the article the author states that, “Assume a direct causal relationship between socio-economic conditions and individual behavior. Indeed, the authors manage to trace almost all personal motivation back to the pocketbook” also, “the communal conflict also omits the religious ideas behind the trials – the very ideas which the people of Salem would have believed to be most important” (Boyer and Nissenbaum 1). In saying this, the author is conveying a sense that even though the trials were strictly focused around religiousness, worldliness played a major factor within the duration of the trials. Therefore, the position of the Salem accusations were out of religious and worldly nature.

In conclusion, the parallels of Worldliness and Godliness are in fact, intertwined within the general concept of The Crucible. Arthur Miller did an astonishing job in creating a message that would resonate throughout the existence of time. This adventitious ripple sparked a discussion, not only with the Salem and Andover Witch Trials, but also the McCarthy Trials, and will be carried on until the end of time.

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The Effects of Godliness and Worldliness in the Puritan Civilization. (2019, Oct 23). Retrieved from