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Flaws in the Society of The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a drama that takes place in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, a small, isolated village. In a Puritan town, children should be seen but not heard but Abigail and her group of friends ended up running the village and are the ones who cost the lives of many innocent people from the village. It started out with a group of girls dancing in the woods naked, but instead of accepting punishment for this illegal activity they decided to blame witchcraft. From that point on was a witch hunt full of mass hysteria. The town believed the girls because they were a strict Puritan society. Salem’s three most predominate problems were no stable legal system, unwise leaders and no room to be different.

Having an unstable legal system was a major issue in Salem society. Having the church in charge of the court made their judgment very biased against anything that was anti-religious. For example judge Danforth was a religious leader and deputy governor. Another example of Salem’s unstable legal system was when 93 people from the village signed a petition about how Elizabeth Procter was not a witch. When this was presented to Judge Danforth he said, “Mr. Cheever has a warrant drawn for all of these. Arrest for examination (867).” This shows that all the power had gone to Danforths’s head. As a result the village did not have a chance but to listen to Danforth. Unfortunately, Salem’s unstable legal system caused serious issues.

Another problem in Salem’s society was having unwise and selfish leaders. An example of a leader in Salem that only cared about his own reputation was Reveran Parris. In the beginning of the drama his daughter Betty was pretending to be possessed. But instead of worrying about his daughter’s well being, he said, “Let me know what you have done there. Abigail do you understand I have many enemies (833)?” Parris was worried that he would lose his position as the reverend if his daughter were affiliated with witchcraft. Judge Danforth is another example of a selfish leader because no matter how much evidence people brought to him about the girls being frauds he would not believe them. Accepting the evidence that the girls were frauds would be accepting that he was incorrect the whole time. Thomas Puttnam is also a leader in the Salem community that had his daughter accuse George Jacobs of being a witch so he could buy his land. Therefore if leaders in a society are corrupt it is hard and leaves the citizens with few options.

No room for being different is also one of the top three issues in Salem’s society. For example, John Proctor’s wife has was sick for a couple of months and throughout that time he was not able to attend church every Sunday. Because of that, people thought they worked for the devil. John Proctor did not believe that a person had to attend church to be a good Christian, but the society he lived in strongly disagreed. When reverend Hale went to Proctor’s house to ask why he did not attend church every Sunday, Hale told him “Mister a Christian on Sabbath day must be in church… (856).” Another example of this are all of the girls creating this whole situation to get attention. Because no one would ever listen to them and had no room to express themselves, they were willing to do anything to get attention. In conclusion, being in a society where one must be exactly the same as everyone around would be a very boring and confining life.

An unstable legal system, unwise leaders and having no room to be different were three major issues in Salem’s society. Has one ever imagined how it would be to live somewhere where if person is accused for doing something one has to prove themselves innocent? Lucky for the people that live in the United States they are innocent until proven guilty. If one did not have the option to do something they wanted to because they must be exactly the same as every person around them, it would be a boring, depressing life. If the leaders in the community had the final say on anything that ever happens and no one else has a say a person in that community, the society must be living in fear that the leader does not hold a grudge against them because there is nothing they could do to save themselves. Therefore one never thinks about how fortunate they are to live in a society where there is not a set rule book on how one must act, and most important have freedom of speech and respect for differences.

Bibliography

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1996. Print.

Literature


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