In Arthur Miller’s 1953 masterpiece, The Crucible, we glimpse a world that shadows our own, yet where all the social interactions and inter-reactions are magnified, and make the literal difference between life and death. Jaggedly shadowing this harrowing landscape are several social, religous, and legal institutions. Though these institions-- such as the Church, the courts, and the town council-- were created to help build a sense of community, they often lead to the splintering of the town’s identity. Not only do these institutions destroy the communal identity, but also the individuals identity and ideals as well. The Crucible explores how the Church and the Courts destroy this identity, and how the individualists like John Proctor are actually the ones who retain their humanity and freedom.

The courts and legal system also steal the humanity of those who work with them. An example of this is the “bitter, remorsless” (78) Judge Hawthorne, who so believes in his authority that often he tries to bait the defendents in his cases, spewing “contempt of court” (90) charges at the slightest provocation. Reverend Hale also demonstrates how the courts authority corrupts, because rather then relying on evidence he instead uses the baselessauthority” (34) of his textbooks. Later, he forsakes the textbooks in favor of his instincts, and he is redeemed as a character through this breaking with the court.

The Church’s main goal is to bring together a community in communion with God; however, the Salem church seems to do the exact opposite. The self-rightous Parris is often worldly and possessive, thinking more of his pay check and prestige then on the good of his flock: “I am paid little enough without I spend six pounds on firewood” (27). His constant greed for money has turned away many parishoners, “who stay away from the church these days because you Parris hardly ever mention God anymore.” (27)

Like Hale, Proctor also reaches his redemption by breaking with the court and the Church. For much of the play, Proctor is troubled because he is a “sinner … against the moral fashion of the time…” (18), yet he can neither serve penance for this sin or be content with what he sees as hypocrisy, which abounds in all around him. Because of this, Proctor is constantly struggling with himself and the hypocritical institutions that surround him. In order to remain true to his beliefs, Proctor is willing to give up his name by confessing publicly his most secret sin: “I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name…” (103). Yet when again his integrity is challenged, he faces even death forced upon him by the courts and the church, climactically showing their ruinous affect on all those who work with or against them.

Miller believed in the individual's rights over the institutions, which often trample the individual’s rights. John Proctor is the embodiment of this freedom while the Church and Courts represent the institutions in general. Although in this story the individual lost out to the institutions, he retained the moral high ground which in the end is all that matters: a person’s character.

Arthur Miller's The Crucible takes a look at two of the worst moments in American history. It uses a historical event as a metaphor to demonstrate the pressure to conform with social norms. Miller takes the history of the Salem Witch Trials and makes them symbolic of the American psyche. He takes the quasi-religious concept of patriotism, as used by McCarthy's followers, and reveals its ugliness. The patriotism of the McCarthy era was just as cruel and vengeful as that of the Puritans in Salem. Religion can provide a sense of reality to its worshippers. The individuals who have the ability to define that reality, and therefore force others to live by its ideals, become extremely powerful. The usage of religion to reinforce the importance of one's definition of reality is quite old. In this manner the theocratic government of Salem demonstrates the power of the pressure to conform.

Although the Salm Witch Trials had occurred over two hundred years ago, the spirit of persecution that was key to them is still alive today. It was this same spirit that drove the House Un-American Activities Committee and aided in locating the "culprits" in the Red Scare. The HUAC took it upon itself to decide what was, or was not, American. They considered anything "Un-American" to be Communist, and so they drove to find anything even remotely related to the communist party in America. Simply being questioned caused your name to take on a suspicious air of guilt. To regain ones name, one was required to give names of others who were involved with the Communist Party. The Red Scare demanded conformity just as did the theocracy in Salem.

In The Crucible, people were killed over whether or not it was their inalienable human right to resist conformaty. When John Proctor resisted the court with evidence that the very core of their cause was a sham, he was accussed of trying to overthrow the court and associating with the Devil. In the end, his proof was discredited, and he was executed. This was done to maintaint complete control and conformity.

As before mentioned, Salem is a theocracy. Therefore sin is an offense against the public good as well as against God. Sins are necessarily secret activities, so regulating the moral behavior of citizens requires surveillance. There is a good deal of pressure to reveal the secret sins of friends and neighbors in the name of Christian duty. Therefore, judgment is not only in the mouths of court judges, but in the mouths of friends and neighbors as well. The desire for privacy makes one suspect because it looks as if one has something to hide.

The very language used during the Salem Witch Trials and the HUAC investigations have much in common. Both referred to that which they were seeking as a disease or ailment, needing to be cured. Witchery threatened the moral purity of Salem and of individuals' souls. It was "a scourge that must be wiped out." Souls needed to be cleaned via vigorous questioning in court. The Red Scare described it the same way, as a disease threatening the very essence of the American way of life. In order to cure it however, one had to define "health," so as to contradict the disease. If you did not conform, you were considered contaminated. The "cure" for this contamination was just as cruel and immoral as the search for it. Being "black listed" and defamation was common. The same ideology that fueled the Salem Witch Hunts also fueled the McCarthian Red Scare. The need for conformity was key to both struggles for power through belief, and fortunately, in the end, they lost.

The Importance of Truth and Lies in The Crucible

The Crucible contains many different kinds of lies, some told to spite other people, some told to protect others, and some told out of ignorance. Throughout the play it is difficult to tell what kind of lies are being told, and where the trith actually lies.

The first instance in The Crucible when someone tries to determine the truth of a matter is when Mr. Hale makes his entrance. Before he even starts his examination of events, however, he is bombarded by everyone in the room, all trying to put across their opinion of what has happened, and why Betty is as she is. Rather than letting him find the truth on his own, in an unbiased way, they are intent on making sure that some evidence of witchcraft is found. This bias is a strong factor throughout the play in determinining what is believed as the truth and what is thought to be a lie.

At this point, Hale seems to be adamant that he will have no prejudice, and that he must be allowed to find what is wrong with Betty himself. He tells them that "we cannot look to superstition in this." However, as the conversation goes on he seems more and more influenced by talk of witchcraft, and starts asking Abby about the dancing in the wood. Just as Hale seems to be closing in on the truth about the dancing, however, Abby confuses the situation by bringing Tituba into it, telling everyone that Tituba made her drink blood. Influenced by the lies told to him, Hale convinces Tituba that she has been associating with the Devil, and in doing so makes a big mistake. By telling her that there is no option but to confess that she has been associating with the Devil, Hale puts words into her mouth and makes her admit to something that probably is not true. It is now also that the seeds are sown for an accusation later made by Tituba, when Putnam asks her whether she saw Sarah Good with the Devil, or Osburn. In order to search for the truth, Hale and the rest of the people in the room are letting their own paranoia and prejudice get in the way of the real truth of the matter, and by putting words in Tituba's mouth, they are coercing her into saying what they want to hear, which of course they are then only too ready to believe, and so on in a vicious circle. When later it becomes clear that they will not settle unless Tituba gives them the names of others who have been seen with the Devil, Hale asking her "who came to you with the Devil?" she simply gives them the two names that come to mind first, Osburn and Good, who have aready been mentioned by Putnam. Since they are already suspected of witchcraft, everyone is immediately willing to believe that Tituba is telling the truth.

This kind of occurrence is common in The Crucible, and as the play goes on it gets harder and harder for those characters such as Proctor and Corey to find the truth and expose it. The more lies that are told by the girls, and are believed by the powers that be, the harder it is to go back on them.

As the lies progress through the play, there is still a small number of people who wish to find the truth, and expose the girls as frauds. Proctor, Nurse and Corey come to the forefront in the meeting house when they finally get a chance to talk to Danforth. However Danforth, who is at that time supporting the girls in their accusations, does not want to liten to them, claiming at one point that he "accepts no depositions" when Proctor offers him Mary's. Whether he suspects that he supports a lie, or still thinks that he is upholding the truth, he is afraid to accept that his judgements have been wrong, There is also the problem that those around him are afraid of having the truth exposed. Parris's reputation is now resting on the validity of the girls' claims and he cannot afford to have them proven wrong. Whenever Danforth looks like he might give way to Proctor, Parris and Hathorne are there, convincing him not to listen, saying that anything Proctor says is a "vile lie", and claiming that he has come to "overthrow the court".

The first evidence that the girls have been lying is at this time, when Mary Warren claims that everything the girls have been doing is all "pretence". However, when the other girls come out and disagree with her, it is hard for anyone to know where the truth is any more. On the one hand there is Proctor's argument, which says that Mary Warren would not endanger her life like this unless she was telling the truth. On the other, Mary is unable to faint on cue as she says she has been doing. In such uncertainty, Danforth is bound to take the side of the girls, since admitting he is wrong is admitting that he has sentenced many people to be hanged wrongly. Hale, however, has no such constraints, it seems. He is prepared to accept the truth, believing in Proctor, and storms out of the meeting house, denouncing the proceedings. This must cast doubt into Danforth's mind about where the truth now lies.

The way in which Danforth seeks the truth from lies, and "melts down all concealment", is interesting. While he does ask direct questions to people under suspicion, he also asks questions to which he already knows the answers. For instance, when he asks Proctor if he has any desire to undermine the court, it is obvious that Proctor will say no, because a positive reply would ruin his credibility. However, Danforth is lookin at the way in which Proctor answers, and tries to find the truth by listening to his tone of voice. In this case it seems to work, as Proctor falters as he answers the question. Although this may not necessarily give an entirely accurate answer, and could be interpreted in different ways, it is an indication as to Proctor's intentions.

Lies told out of spite, such as Abigail's, are not the only untruths told in The Crucible. Twice in the play, either a lie is told, or people are encouraged to lie, to protect themselves or someone else. The first occasion this happens is when Elizabeth Proctor is brought in by Danforth to confirm Proctor's statement that Abigail was sacked because she committed adultery with him. When she tells Danforth that this was not the reason, she aims to help John, but in fact this is probably the most important lie in Abigail and the other girls' favour. The second occasion is near the end of the play, when Hale returns to talk to those who are to be hanged. Having been part of the cause of the hangings in the first place, Hale now feels that he must do something to stop them. Even though "damnation's doubled on a minister who counsels men to lie", this is what he does. It is perhaps fitting that the only way to escape hanging caused originally by lies and pretence is to lie yourself, and John Proctor seems to have had the same thought as Hale. However, Proctor's justification for lying is slightly different. He feels that as he has already sinned by the crime of lechery, lying now will not make much difference to his eventual fate after death. He decides this on his own, without Hale's counsel through Elizabeth.

Eventually, though, Proctor tears up his confession. He does this because he sees through Danforth and Hathorne, and sees what they are trying to do. Rather than searching for the truth, as they ought to be doing, they are trying to protect themselves in case the town turns on them. One of Danforth's lines is particularly ironic in light of this, when he is arguing with Proctor about his confession. He tells him, "I will not deal in lies, Mister!" which is, in fact, exactly what he has been doing throughout the whole proceedings.

The extent to which the lies in Salem were allowed to grow to is indicative of a people who could quite easily let paranoia get the better of them. When the truth of a matter is clouded by prejudice, or paranoia, it is often hard to look for the truth, even when it can easily be found, for the fear that the preconceptions you had about a person are wrong. This is shown to great effect by Miller in The Crucible, where people are allowed to die because others are not willing to accept the truth that is staring them in the face all along.

The Crucible: More than an allegory

"It is not for me to make easy answers and come forth before the American people and tell them everything is all right, when I look into their eyes and see them troubled…my criticism, such as it has been, is not to be confused with hatred. I love this country, I think as much as any man, and it is because I see these things that I think certainly traduce these values that have been in the country that I speak"

- Arthur Miller

Everyone knows, or thinks they know about The Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Unfortunately, most of what they know comes from Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible. While Miller’s play is a dramatic and engrossing dramatization of some of the events that took place in Salem in 1692, it is not entirely accurate. What occurs then is sort of a modern day legend much akin to Homer’s Iliad or The Odyssey, stories that incorporate real people and places in fantastic situations. This story then becomes, like the Greek classics, a morality play, where cause and effect plays out before our eyes, and we see what becomes of a society when people make the wrong decisions. Again, like many of these stories, the truth is always stranger than the fiction. The Crucible, while generally considered to be a thinly veiled allegory of the reign of terror held by the House Un-American Activities Committee under Senator Joseph McCarthy, is much more than that. It is deeply tense dramatic work that includes issues of sexuality, religion, hypocrisy, enlightenment, sexism, feminism, politics and redemption. It’s allegory reaches far before 1692 and far after 1953.

When The Crucible first opened at The Martin Beck Theater in New York on January 22, 1953, it was met with a lukewarm reaction. Many critics, like Walter Kerr, thought it was too much allegory and not enough substance. Brooks Atkinson, in his New York Times review, liked the play, but stated that it "lacked universality" and that "On a lower level of dramatic history with considerable pertinence for today, it is a powerful play…." 1 Even Arthur Miller himself wasn’t very impressed with the production. As a result, it only ran for 197 performances. This was not a very long run of performances compared with his other plays, Death of a Salesman ran for 742 performances on Broadway. The country was in turmoil, people were afraid to even entertain open criticism of what was going on at the time. The effect was even more pronounced after Miller actually appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956. Like John Proctor, Miller refused to name names, and was cited for contempt and sentence to a prison sentence. Both, however, were defeated by an appeal. His next play, A View from the Bridge, only ran for 149 performances. It seemed as though his allegory was haunting him. 2

Miller later wrote the screenplay for the 1996 film of The Crucible, which was less of an allegory and more of a dark retelling of the tale in verisimo style. The film’s realism takes the McCarthy allegory out of the story and lets the viewer draw his own connections to the story. Through the film, we can see the many other facets of the story that resonate with us today. It paints a very clear picture of Puritan life in 17th century New England. At that time, "These men were, after all, not only Salem Villagers: they were also men of the seventeenth century; they were New Englanders; and finally, they were Puritans"3 All of these monikers held a specific connotation and it's own sense of pride. In each capacity, these men had a duty to perform. As the men of Salem Village, they had a duty to keep a community together that was quickly fragmenting. The charter of Salem Town and Salem Village was revoked, due to a bloodless coup d’etat between officers of King George III and the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, making any legal dispute almost impossible to arbitrate. This was also why so many of the accused witches spent so much time in jail between their arrest and trial. "The basic problem was that while more and more suspected witches and wizards were being arrested, not one trial had yet been held. Indeed there could be none…Massachusetts was without a legally established government! The authorities had no official recourse except to throw suspects into jail without a trial."4 The town was also in the throes of a war between two factions of what Hawthorne would later call "Violent Churchgoers" as to their new pastor, Rev. Parris. The Salem Villagers were indeed left adrift by having no official government, they did, for once, have a chance at the freedom to attempt to govern themselves. A group of men grabbed at the chance to take control of the church by appointing a new pastor, for they knew that if they controlled the church, they controlled Salem.

"On June 18, 1689, a ‘general meeting of the inhabitants’ of Salem Village…agreed to hire Mr. Parris as a minister….On October 10, another ‘general meeting’ voted to give outright to Samuel Parris ‘and his heirs’ the Village parsonage together with it's barn and two acres of land!"5

This went against a decree made at a village meeting in 1681 stating that the pastor did not have ownership of the Village parsonage. It was later discovered that the "general meeting of the inhabitants" was really a meeting of only a few men, all related to the influential Putnam family. This dubious appointment of the Rev. Samuel Parris created a rift in the community instantly. The Village became divided into Pro-Parris and Anti-Parris factions. These factions transferred almost person for person into the accused and accusers during the witch outbreak. Almost every accuser was related to the Putnam family either by blood, service or business; and almost every defender or accused person was related to the Proctor family by blood, service or business.

This schism of public opinion imbued every aspect of Village life in Salem. Public opinion in colonial England was a very strong thing.

"In American, the majority has staked out a formidable fence around thought. Inside those limits a writer is free but woe betide him if he dares to stray beyond them. Not that he need near an auto-da-fe but he is victim of all kinds of unpleasantness and everyday persecutions. A political career is closed to him for he has offended the only power with the capacity to give him an opening. He is denied everything…before publishing his views, he thought he has supporters; it seems he has lost them once he has declared himself publicly; for his detractors speak out loudly and those who think as he does, but without his courage, keep silent and slink away. He give in and finally bends beneath the effort of each passing day, withdrawing into silence as if he felt ashamed at having spoken to truth."7

The above quote could have been written by someone watching the struggle of John Proctor in Miller’s play, but in reality it was written by Alexis de Tocqueville, a French writer and political theorist who lived in colonial Pennsylvania for some time. However, he did not set foot in Salem. Such a strikingly appropriate observation from a man who, to all accounts, knew nothing of the Salem Witch Trials, affirms that fact that this could have happened at any place in the colonies at the time, or in fact any time. To be sure, if looked at closely, one can find truths in de Tocqueville’s statement after September 11, 2001. The country was engulfed in this frenzy of patriotism, and all nay-sayers were quashed by the overwhelming public opinion.

It is also necessary to look at the community of Salem in it's religious context. Puritan society was a very controlled society, repressive, unflinching in it's use of the Bible as it's sole authority of correct behavior. Such a community also lent itself to reactionary behavior, meaning outbreaks of behavior that were directly contrary to the beliefs of the society. The girls involved in the "crying out" were especially vulnerable to this kind of "counterculture" behavior, as they were presented with a unique situation. These girls, at the brink of adolescence, with their changing bodies and their budding sexuality, were crying out to express themselves in some way.

Miller captures this consummately in the character of Abigail Williams by raising her age from 11 to 16, she embodies the essence of repressed Salem. Miller gives a reason for her outbreak in her affair with John Proctor.

Abigail: John – I am waitin’ for you every night…I know how you sweated like a stallion whenever I come near! I have a sense for heat…and yours has drawn me to my window, and I have seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness.8

In John Proctor, Abigail has an outlet for her repressed desires, and once released it cannot again be stifled.

In addition to sexual release, John Proctor is in a sense Abigail’s intellectual savior. He has "taken her from her sleep and put knowledge in her heart."9 When Proctor ends the affair, Abigail reels with confusion and torment:

Abigail: I never knew what pretense Salem was…the lying lessons I was taught…and now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes?"10

John has become her father figure, he has treated her as a woman and consequently she feels like one, perhaps prematurely. She is left adrift searching for a place in a community that will not accept her or treat with even a shred of the dignity that was given to her by Proctor. She has no father of her own, only her uncle Rev. Parris, who, to say the least, has his own problems. While Abigail is often portrayed as a malevolent force in Miller’s play, it doesn’t take much to see how she indeed could have gone mad placed in such a situation.

In addition, at the time a fad was sweeping through New England: Occultism. All over the colonies people were fashioning crude crystal balls, tarot cards, performing all sorts of divination. To the everyday folk of the colonies, whose views were not as strict as those of the Puritans, but still strict enough to give this simple fashion of occultism an air of danger, this was the new thing to do. Slowly, this crept into the homes of Salem Village.11

Contrary to Miller’s play, in reality, there were indeed quite a few adult women besides Tituba who were involved in the rituals that the girls were performing.

Again, it is not hard to find a modern counterpoint to this situation either. The traditions of the Middle East have created somewhat of a theocracy, including systems of repression of women. In Azar Nafisi’s book Reading Lolita in Tehran, she writes about a group of girls who created a sort of secret "dead poet’s society" of their own and read banned books, one of them being Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Nafisi goes on to talk about the effect that this reading had on the girls. When Lolita first appeared in print in America in 1955 (right in the middle of the McCarthy hearings) it was immediately banned from many libraries and it caused an incredible uproar. Later, in 1962, when Stanley Kubrick directed the film version of Lolita, it was so controversial that the tag line for the film was "How could they make a film of Lolita?"12 If we have taboos that even our modern so-called "free" society has trouble dealing with, one can only imagine the incredible affect that it would have on the ultra-repressed society of the Middle East. By this comparison, we then see how these occult activities, however harmless, had an effect on the girls in Salem and the Salem community at large.

In conclusion, it is clear that The Crucible is much more than just an allegory of McCarthyism. If that is what one seeks, it is better to watch the film The Manchurian Candidate. Miller’s dramatic masterpiece resonates on many other levels. Contrary to Brooks Atkinson’s original review in 1953, The Crucible does not lack universality, it is indeed universal, and it's visceral tale of society gone mad is as chilling as it was when first produced.

 1 The New York Times – 1953 – Crucible review – Brooks Atkinson 

2 Introduction to The Crucible – Christopher Bigsby

 3 Salem Possessed – Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum

 4 Ibid

 5 Ibid 6 Ibid

 7 Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America and Two essays on America, Volume 1, Chapter XV, trans. By Gerald Bevan 

8 Arthur Miller The Crucible Act one 

9 Ibid 

10 Ibid 

11 Charles W. Upham Salem Witchcraft 


With all due respect to Arthur Miller and his fine work, the term “The Crucible” has an entirely different meaning when it comes to the making of a United States Marine. It’s the last test that they face after the nightmare that is known as boot camp. Any recruits who fail to pass the challenge will most likely be “recycled” to another phase in basic training or failing that, be dropped all together.

The “test” takes place over fifty-four hours and during that time you can expect to be starved, deprived of sleep and physically challenged like you’ve never been physically challenged before. Here’s the skinny on what will be expected of you:

Over the three days, you’ll be walking approximately forty two miles. This isn’t any casual stroll up and down Main Street either. Besides full packs, water, food and weapons, at times you’ll be humping extra fifty pound cans of ammunition and dummies that weigh up to another one hundred pounds. Don’t worry about the food though, during the entire fifty four hours, you’ll only get to eat three times.

You and your fellow prospective jarheads will be expected to act as a team during the entire exercise to overcome and persevere in some pretty extreme conditions. Don’t worry about the weather either, it goes on rain or shine

Ooh fuckin’ rah! What do I have do?

Well, first of all, make it to the last week of boot camp. All of the “events” in the Crucible are designed as such to display your physical abilities as well as to make sure that such things as map reading and survival skills have taken hold in that thing you call a brain.

Day One

”REVEILLE! REVEILLE! REVEILLE! “Drop your cocks and grab your socks!”

If you’re a male, that’s the wake up call you’ll mostly hear from your Drill Instructor. Unfortunately it’ll be 0200 hundred hours. That’s 2:00 AM for those of you who don’t comprehend military time. Once you’re up, you’ll have exactly one hour to pack your shit and be ready to traipse off into the wilderness at precisely 0300.

You have three hours to make the six mile trek to the actual cite of the Crucible.

Day One - Event One

Starting at 0600 you’ll be split into teams in order to resupply your buddies with food, water and ammo and no, a trip to the local Wal-Mart just doesn’t cut it. You’ll have to negotiate trenches, wire fences, walls and logs suspended in the air and supported by cables. You should be done in about one hour.

After that, you can expect to negotiate an obstacle course and then engage of some good old fashioned hand to hand combat and then engage in some case study time about war time situations.

Day One – Event Two

For this little event, you have three hours in which your team will be expected to handle any unusual situation or problem that is thrown their way. A random sample includes the teams use of three wooden boards to make it across a field of stumps with out a team member touching the ground and using what little resources available, try getting a huge container over a wall to your buddies trapped on the other side.

After that’s all said and done, have some fun and games in the form of bashing each others heads in with some good old fashioned pugil sticks.

Day One –Event Three

For this one, you have one hour for your team to rescue a “downed” pilot and one of your other platoon members who has been “shot” and carry them back to safety through about a mile of wooded terrain.

After that, you have to transport a dummy playing the role of a wounded soldier on stretcher through a standard Marine Corps obstacle course. No short cuts either, you have to negotiate each and every obstacle.

Next, expect to climb a 500 meter hill that gradually rises in grade and once you get to the top, you’ll have five minutes to call in co-ordinates on a map to initiate an air strike.

After that, it’s lecture time and one of your DI’s will rant on about a “Marine Corp core value” or other some such thing.

Finally, at about 1800 hours, you’ll strap your packs to your backs and hump five miles to the next site. You have three hours to finish and if you do, you can hit the sack.

Day Two – Event Four

Well, you won’t get that much sleep because at 0400, it’s time to try something called the “Combat Assault Resupply”. You’ll have one hour to negotiate the course that includes crossing a “contaminated” area by swinging on ropes, scaling a ten-foot wall and climbing down the other side using knotted ropes and then demonstrating your ability to read a map. After that, expect a quick lecture from your DI on another of the Marines “core values”.

Day Two – Event Five

Here, you and your buddies get to practice on something called ‘The Confidence Course”. There are four exercises that you must complete within a two hour time frame to complete the exercise.

The Sky Scraper -A wounded dummy is placed on top of an eighteen-foot tower. Your job is to retrieve him and get him down without dropping him.

Stairway to Heaven – the members of your team will move two ammunition cans weighing about 50 pounds each over the top of a thirty six foot ladder type obstacle.

Two-Line Bridge – here you’ll have to cross fifty two feet of ropes that are suspended in the air using your hands and feet. The ropes are suspended anywhere between two and ten feet off the ground. Oh yeah, you’ll be carrying those ammo cans as well as water resupply cans.

The Weaver – last but not least, you’ll have to crawl over and under twenty four logs in a distance of forty two feet and rising fourteen feet still dragging those damn cans with you.

Day Two – Event Six

If there’s one thing every Marine needs to know it’s how to shoot a rifle. In this little exercise, teams of four have seventy seconds to fire off ten rounds at targets set out at an unknown distance. The number of hits are recorded and any unused ammo is used against your total score.

To cap things off on Day Two, you’ll do a little night exercise that lasts from 1900 hours until 2300 hours. You’ll have to negotiate the Combat Assault Course in order to resupply your fellow Marines with water, food, and of course, ammunition. This time though, you won’t have the luxury of daylight.

At approximately midnight, feel free to get some sleep.

Day Three – Event One

Awake at 0300 hours, pack your trash and strap it to your backs. At 0400 hours you’ve got a nine and a half mile hump back to barracks that has to be done in under four hours.

Day Three - Event Two

For those that have made it and barring any last minute fuck ups, you’ve earned the title of United States Marine. You can expect a breakfast that consists of all the steak, eggs, and potatoes that you can eat.

Congratulations Marine!


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