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What does the crucible symbolize in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"?

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The crucible symbolized the hardships that the entire town had to go through during the time of the witch hunts. On personal levels, each individual had to decide if the actions of the court were just and if their actions in response were also moral. On a larger scale, the witch trials caused the town to degenerate: there were orphans on the street, no one to tend to their land, and the threat of riots.

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