Justice in The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, set in 1692, is based on the historical events surrounding the witch trials in Salem. This essay handles the failure of the justice system in Salem, Massachusetts. Justice is meant to be based on the intrinsic concept that everyone is innocent up until tested guilty and those condemned having to be made to pay for their criminal offenses. Arthur Miller shows with his play that there is a thin line in between justice and oppression, which can easily result in hatred, greed, worry, envy and personal revenge.
Throughout the witch trials, eighteen innocent males and females were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem and this disaster happened as a repercussion of oppression. The entire breakdown started with young girls dancing in the dark wood, which was considered, by the Puritans as the devil’s last rule. This action was followed by a domino effect of happenings. Pretended sickness and lies were covering the following actions, worry of justice drove the young girls into a course of insanity.
When Putnam states, „ She can not bear to hear the Lord’s name that’s a sure sign of witchcraft,” he enforces the concept of witchcraft existing in Salem and in addition to that, Abigail? s scapegoating of Tituba laid the foundation of the witch trials and the very first accusation is stated as the following insanity and hysteria breaks free. Arthur Miller composed the Crucible in the 1950? s throughout the time of the “red scare” and anti-communist concerns of the McCarthy-era. Arthur Miller connected the Crucible to the circumstance of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which investigated versus communistic ties.
He believed that both events were based upon accusation, doing not have difficult evidence and proof. The witch trials deal with the supernatural and the McCarthyism with disloyalty to the state and worry of the growing power of communism in the United States. The Crucible is considered as an allegory for the intolerance of McCarthyism. Arthur Miller even used the title as a metaphor for the anti-communists trend of America? s red scare, in as much as him portraying America itself as having ended up being became a Crucible, where everyone without exception was afraid of unfounded accusations being leveled at them.
Arthur Miller did not explain the Salem witch hunts precisely, and in reality, most of the Crucible is fiction, but the historic context is kept and just modified. The theocracy which ruled America in 1692 was big and dispersed, but Arthur Miller transformed the power of the court into two main authorities in the play, Danforth and Reverend Hale. Both of them had actually dedicated their lives to the church and versus evil. The point of a trial is misinterpreted by Danforth, because a trial should choose if there was a criminal offense committed or not, whereas Danforth sees a criminal activity without questioning the presence of it.
For that reason where a criminal offense, there is the need to discover a victim and an offender, no matter for which cost. Oppression is exposed in many ways and driven by several intentions. One of these is the fear that exposes people to madness and drives them to inform lies, dedicate criminal offenses and act in hysterics. The play itself handles the paranoia of the widespread belief in the supernatural. This fear in the play can be link to a comparable fear in the 1950? s, where people where afraid of the Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
Throughout the play, Reverend Hale starts to realize the outcome of his actions in Salem, he begins to think that he signed 72 death warrants for innocent individuals. Subsequently, he tries to alter something but stops working and oppression of Salem is given its peak where no individuals of Salem were safe from hatred, greed, fear and personal vengeance. Not just ordinary residents were victims of the madness, but even Reverent Hale who was seen as „ high and magnificent” and was thought to have a lot to say in the town’s federal government.
Nevertheless Reverend Hale ended up being a broken guy at the end of the play, he feared God, repented of his choices and embarrassed of the oppression he assisted to develop. In addition to Reverend Hale, the kids bear a great deal of fear with them, some was concentrated on the penalty for the madness they created and some versus Abigail who shows herself as hazardous and the leader of the girl which are “jangling the keys” of the government to their desire. The fear drove Reverend Parris to build lies and hide information.
Parris suspected that, “there is a faction and a party” and therefore he feared to conceal the fact about his niece and the other children which were conjuring spirits in the domain of the devil. Greed is one of the seven fatal sins and an extreme or rapacious desire and pursuit of product belongings. In the facial character for this intention is Mr. Putnam, every discussion he begins and leads points to greed. The vindictive nature of Mr. Putnam makes him accuse Rebecca Nurse based on greedy, self-centered desires and his own animosity on Francis Nurse, the result of a long lasting land war.
He even utilizes his daughter to implicate people whose property he covets. Mr. Putnam’s acts of land greed destroyed the lives of innocent individuals and that was only for the greedy desires of Putnam himself. Giles Corey might be viewed as one of the worst examples of justice in the Crucible. After his deep issue over his regret having condemning his own wife, he fulfills his task by ensuring his boys receive a testament and then he dies an innocent death. With the lines “more weight” he challenges the justice system of Salem.
This great death happened of a greedy desire of Putnam. However the straw which broke the camel’s back was Putnam’s initiation of Rebecca Nurse’s death. The children who were discovered dancing in the woods were quelched girls without any important role in the neighborhood, especially Abigail who was an orphan and had no bright future to anticipate. Therefore the empowerment the children got was excellent and they realized the power they had more than certain people in the town. How the kids acted is truly easy to understand.
The method they responded to Abigail’s rules and the accusal of innocent people had a far much deeper source then just the empowerment. Fear, personal revenge and the culture of the 1960? s drove them into the madness. Another pursuit of product ownership is revealed by Reverend Parris, the town minister, he needs to have been „ high and mighty” similar to Revered Hale, however his track record has fractures in it from his vicious prayers and selfishness. Reverent Parris wants more than good wealth for his children; he wants to keep his position as a minister for his own gain and not for the advantage for the town.
At those times the real justice lay destroyed on the ground, by hatred, greed, fear and individual vengeance, and in its place, stood an insanity of oppression, lies and scams. Not only does Abigail has a dangerous nature, however also Proctor is highly respected in the town. He owns a great track record in Salem and is a rich landowner according to the Crucible. There is no concrete evidence that John Proctor ever processed land. Arthur Miller had clearly considerate towards certain characters like John Proctor. The value of Proctor’s role is that he is the first to completely comprehend the injustice in Salem.
He validates the madness with, “we are what we constantly were, but naked now.” He says that empowerment highlights the true nature of the people and makes them decide to either join the insanity or bear the consequences. “Personal vengeance composes the law”, that’s how Proctor understood the damage of justice in Salem, but stopped working to stop the happenings and even handled to get pulled in the middle of it. Abigail accused Elizabeth of witchcraft; she was driven by jealousy and possible benefit of the death of Elizabeth Proctor.
Abigail had an effective complaint versus Elizabeth, she was jealous of Elizabeth for being married to Proctor who she thought still genuinely enjoy her as a result of an affair they had actually had in the past. Elizabeth and Proctor both failed to conserve themselves, due to the fact that of their love of each other. Proctor was hanged as a self inflicted punishment for his sins. However he passed away as a good man, side by side with Martha Corey, a “hearty” woman and Rebecca Nurse who acts of charity are known everywhere.
So in conclusion, I agree with the argument that the justice system failed in Salem, and 1692 was a tragical year for Massachusetts in addition to 1950 for America. The absence of evidence and tough proof together with the church? s influence, the justice system of Salem was doomed to failure. Arthur Miller absolutely linked the Crucible to the events of 1950? s with the writer having to manage reality events and real oppression of his own. In my opinion, he wished to show America that a similar thing was happening with the justice system in the 1950? s, much like in Salem a hundred and fifty-eight years before.