The Crucible– Power struggles
!.?.!? Don’t Underestimate the Power of Ignorant People in Big Groups By: Musicman1401 (Dylan) Over the course of history, humankind has actually waged worldwide wars and individual vendettas against one another in a nonstop struggle for power and authority. This principle is widely expanded on in Arthur Miller’s playwright, The Crucible. This exposed an adaptation of the Salem witch hunts which paralleled Miller’s, and many others’ terrible experiences of being a communist during the ‘communist hunt’ that happened around the 1950’s.
This was the time of McCarthyism; the practice of making accusations towards treason, disloyalty while turning a blind eye to the proof. In this playwright, as well as during the communist hunts, one person would accuse one another of what was looked upon as a severe criminal offense. The main intentions would generally be derivatives of envy and worry. In the playwright, Abagail Williams, whom of which participated in questionable routines began the chain of blind accusations after Betty, Mr. Putnam’s child, falls under a coma after one of the practices.
Additionally, Danforth, who was the judge, was quick to think incorrect allegations of witchcraft without much evidence. Around 72 people were unjustly hanged, as Danforth believed that he was cleansing the town of evil. Reverend Hale, an honest and strong-willed male stands up to Danforth with his well-recognised track record, and tries to divert this ‘deception’ as the townspeople slowly fall away from God’s grasp. Finally, and most significantly one’s track record was, and still is greatly treasured.
When one’s reputation and security is threatened by a jealous neighbour or even a total stranger, the individual will go to completions of the Earth to secure their household and preserve their name. As an example, John Proctor was an honest man who held pride in his name and land. On the other hand, Danforth had the supreme power to keep the townspeople ‘safe’ from witches. He was not about to taint his track record by letting a male/ lady who was evidently innocent after sentenced to hang free. It would compromise the safety of the people.
Danforth, face of the townspeople and Abagail, the puppeteer of madness is a perfect display that heightened authority causes moral degeneration. Abagail Williams was the one to begin accusing others of witchcraft, including John Proctor’s better half, Elizabeth. “We are what we constantly remained in Salem, but not kids are jangling the secrets to the kingdom, and common revenge writes the law” (Miller, 73). John Proctor reveals great agitation and sensibility in what lies behind these false allegations; an excuse to implicate others in strives to get what they, the accuser, wants or to take any possible suspicion off of their name.
Abagail, was once a housemaid for the Proctors. John and Abagail wound up having a small affair while his other half fell ill, and she appears to fight for her obsessive love for John. This would without a doubt, be the main intention for accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft. She struggles for power to manage the outcome she desires; in this case to reclaim her obsessive love for John by any methods required, even if that denotes her ethical degeneration through cruel acts. In Addition, Mr. Danforth notifies Mr. Putnam that Giles Corey has implicated him of forcing his daughter, Betty, to call witchery upon George Jacobs. Giles states that Mr.
Putnam’s ulterior motive was to get Mr. Jacobs’ land. “Mr. Putnam, I have here an accusation by Mr. Giles Corey versus you that states that you have coldly prompted your child to sob witchery upon George Jacobs that is now in jail” (Miller, 89). It appears that Giles Corey is envious of Mr. Putnam’s high track record and overall success, which caused him to stir up problem therefore possibly threatening Mr. Putnam’s name and security. It can be concluded that power does not only trigger moral wear and tear in the eye of the beholder, but in the eyes of those who look up to such recognized figures in society.
Also, when Betty wept witchery upon George Jacobs, Abagail was participating with her, as if to fuel the currently, monstrous fire of identifying many of the townspeople to be seen with the Devil. Last but not least, while everybody remained in the courtroom, Mary Warren, the present housemaid, implicated John Proctor of preparing to murder her, if his better half Elizabeth was hanged which him and Mary must overthrow the court. Danforth takes her word for it and asks him to confess his ‘works with the devil’. Proctor struck with confusion and anger towards her preposterous claim, screams, “I say– I say.
God is dead! “. This statement holds fantastic significance as Proctor attempts make others aware that their incorrect accusations and general lies are breaking God’s will. This goes to show that religious beliefs, when used to guarantee claims of the unknown, can be the most effective weapon used for kindhearted or sinister functions. In this playwright, Puritanism is controlled as the townspeople start accusing others of mortally sinful acts while they themselves are dedicating a sinful act of lying in strives for individual advantage.
The Puritans were a group of English Protestants mostly stemming from the 16th-17th century, whose practices were significantly limited in England as their motive was to modify the churches beliefs into a more stiff practice. “Excellency, we have proof for your eyes; God prohibit you to shut them to it. These ladies, sir, the girls are scams” (Miller, 80). Danforth, the supreme judge over the townspeople shows ignorance and lack of ethical cognition, as he hangs 72 people without an ounce of regret.
Reverend Hale, a man of a strong moral compass and iron will, sees past this exterior of incorrect accusations of ‘witchcraft’ and madness that is flooding the town like an illness. In the playwright, he is not fast call witchcraft when he analyses Betty’s comatose state and the quick rise of allegations of witchcraft following this. He tries to divert Danforth from this ‘delusion’ that is blinding individuals with insanity and vengeance. “Excellency, I have actually signed seventy-two death warrants; I am a minister of the Lord, and I not dare take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no tiniest qualm of conscience might doubt it” (Miller, 92).
Danforth reacts rashly and asks Rev. Hale if he doubts his justice, and sees him as the most ‘baffled’ man. Mr. Hale’s statement is very grounded and extensive, as who in the ideal mind would hang 72 people without appropriate evidence and a reasonable testimony? Danforth’s position in society and in this time of turmoil parallels a religious hierarchy. While much of the town is implicated of witchcraft, Danforth is ‘untouchable’ so to speak. He is the ‘God’, the leader of the people, and who would choose to freely doubt the one in control.
It also enhances the idea of Puritanism; where the one’s who were not implicated, consisting of Danforth, look upon themselves as simply innocent people who hold a fixed position in Heaven. As boldly specified by Proctor, “You are taking down Paradise and raising up a slut!” (Miller, 111). This is when Proctor ends up being completely intolerant to the universal blindness that plagues the town from the adjustment of religions. Faith was taken incredibly actually at that time, and still is nowadays in some faiths. Proctor was a great guy, with a near-spotless reputation. Although he was not one to onsistently go to church, he had a much better grasp of the contrast between right and incorrect, great and wicked. This was something that much of the townspeople blurred the lines of, in trade for individual gains from accusing another individual who had a more powerful reputation than themselves. Lastly, following Reverend Hale’s resignation from the court, Danforth goes on to say “Mr. Hale, as God have actually not empowered me like Joshua to stop this sun from increasing, so I can not withhold from them the excellence of their penalty” (Miller, 120). This is a major declaration, as Danforth uses religion to reinforce the ‘inescapable death’ of the implicated.
He makes it seem as though that their death sentence runs out his hands when, in truth, he is the one in control. It can practically be stated that he takes some kind of enjoyment by hanging these people. A corrupt judge, incorrect accusations, hanging of innocent people without a correct testimony signifies a cold-blooded murderer that stands within the law. The Devil standing in God’s shoes. Track record and security was, and will always be something that individuals will battle to their passing away breath for. “… But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an unnoticeable criminal activity, is it not?
Therefore, who may perhaps be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other” (Miller, 93). This was stated by Danforth, and as anybody can conclude from this, there are many holes in this kind of reasoning. He remains oblivious to any exterior testimony challenging the credibility of the witness’ accusation. Danforth, would not be one to step beyond his position of authority to dig deeper into these false allegations, as the townspeople will trigger a defiant outcry of opposition; therefore polluting his own high reputation and compromising his position of power.
If anyone remained in Danforth’s position, it would certainly be a tiresome job to prove if these accusations stem from untainted or bloodied hands. Although, numerous voices need to be heard and the tough evidence needs to be considered prior to the rash decision to hang an innocent life has been made. Reverend Hale still stays in opposition to Danforth’s blind logic, and pushes the idea that the ladies might be forecasting lies from Mary Warren’s confession. Proctor takes a strong stance in accusing Abagail of murder and believes in mind that Abagail tried to murder his better half, Elizabeth.
Danforth was perplexed by this accusation. As per Proctor in concerns to Abagail, “It is not a child. Now hear me, sir. In the sight of the congregation she were two times this year put out of this meetin’ house for laughing throughout prayer” (Miller, 96). John translucents Abagail’s false claims of witchcraft and comprehends she was trying to remove his partner out of the picture so they might be together. It appears that Abagail was viciously fighting for her obsession and creating these lies, in order to be forever in the presence of John; a guy of high credibility and security.
These acts were that of an insidious nature, and are considered mortal sins in the eyes of God. It can be concluded that credibility and security is not only fought for by individuals maintaining their reasonably high status, however those who do not have such components. John Proctor was a sincere male whom of which had pride in his name and land. He displays no thought of giving that up by signing a document from Danforth. This document has John agree that he has actually bound himself to the Devil’s service. This would then be posted up on the church, and his name will be permanently polluted.
Throughout the unique, protagonist John Proctor holds a symbolic position comparable to that of Jesus. As he was screaming ‘God is dead’, he was standing in the water with his palms face-up. This alludes to the stance that Jesus took, as he would talk to his disciples. In this spiritual allusion, John Proctor holds pride in his name and what he stands for, and defend correct justice and the greater good. Above all, he is the humane voice guiding the people. “… Provide no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honour now, reveal a stony heart and sink them with it!” (Miller, 133).
As Proctor accepts his death, he understands it will be one that will change the face of the townspeople. His near-spotless credibility, overall benevolence will prove that this twisted screen of injustice was merely individual revenge against one another in a battle over reputation, security and authority. John Proctor, the awful hero, accepts his death in honour, pride, and in the knowing that he has actually made a positive change in the tainted faith the townspeople held. In general, our society as it stands high in its stature, is tainted with the specific pursue power, authority, credibility and security.
In some cases, it leads to a type of megalomania so to speak. Megalomania is a historical name for narcissism which denotes a psychological disorder in which the specific suffers delusions of excessive power and supremacy over others originated from an overinflated ego. As witnessed in the playwright, Danforth did anything to keep his status and ruling power, and Abagail vengefully fought for her obsessive love over John resulting in pandemonium. Therefore, it can be concluded that increased authority leads to moral wear and tear.
Although, it is not constantly a negative characteristic to combat for your credibility, authority, and security as John Proctor nobly did. In spite of the dark nature of this playwright, everyone can relate him/herself to most of the main characters whether it is Abagail combating over a compulsive love by any means needed or Danforth by overlooking proof of an everyday problem. Even John Proctor by maintaining one’s pride regardless of the amount of opposition, or Reverend Hale by keeping one’s faith and will strong during an obstacle of beliefs and morals.