Shah Akbur Ms. Jones AP Language 1 December 2009 The Crucible True Purpose One of the factors that can be accredited to starting the hysteria over witchery in the Crucible is the weakness of several of the characters in the story. The fear and lack of mental stability of these characters are a pivotal reason as to why these trials took place. It was Parris’s fear of his reputation being tarnished by his daughter’ssickness that led him to bring John Hale which eventually spirals down to the whole witch hunting hysteria.
It was Tituba’s fear of being hanged that led her to accuse all those people of being involved with the devil. It was John Proctors reluctance to get involved that led to the downfall of him as well as the town. It is our natural impulse as people to avoid anything that will either bring us harm physically or mentally without considering other perspectives of the situation. We make certain decisions without accumulating significant aspects; people can be blinded by fear as well as love.
Like fear love is another weakness that is portrayed by a character in the play. Proctors love for his wife was obvious to the court and was eventually used against him. Proctor did involve himself in the town’s hysteria over witchery, even though he held significant evidence that could contribute to ending these trials. It was not until his wife was arrested that Proctor started to get more involved in the trials. Striving for the freedom of his wife Proctor eventually confesses his affair with Abigail squandering away his reputation.
Although love is more of strength then a weakness in this play I see it as a weakness. Human weakness is greatly exposed in the Crucible; it is shown through the acts of the major characters in the story. Hypocrisy is a common trait amongst many of the characters in the Crucible. Many of the religious leaders are guilty of hypocrisy, such as Reverend Parris. Although Parris has deemed himself to serving god and to live by his or her guidelines his actions through the play and overall demeanor can be described as both immoral and unethical.
Another instance of hypocrisy committed by a character during the play is when Abigail opened herself to Jesus. “.. I want the light of god, I want the sweet love of Jesus,” in these lines Abigail is claiming that she is rid of the devils power over her and she would like to come back to the good graces of god (Miller, 189). In reality Abigail’s outcry was in no way a declaration of herself to god but rather a deceitful objection to make the appearance of innocence in front of the unknowing spectators.
The tragic hero of the story John Proctor also exemplifies hypocrisy. When asked to recite his commandment Proctor whether intentionally or forgetfully fails to mention “thou shall not commit adultery. ” Proctor claimed to be man of god even though his prior sins with Abigail violated this very commandment. Hypocrisy is one of the more common flaws of people. At one point or another we will all experience a hypocrite, someone who decrees certain values without following those values themselves.
In conclusion the Crucible is an elucidation on specific flaws of humans that are exemplified by personas in the story. Arthur Miller creates these characters with certain attributes and put them in unique situations to help explain the natural aberrations of humans. The crucible magnifies these weaknesses so it is more obvious to the reader. We are able to identify these imperfections and incorporate them into the real world. The Crucible is less of a melodrama on spirits, witch hunting, and the devil, and more of a magnification on the natural flaws of people.
Works Cited Applebee, Arthur N. , Andrea B. Bermudez, Sheridan Blau, and Arthur Miller. Language of Literature Course 6 American Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. Print. “The Crucible. ” Shmoop. com. Ed. Shmoop University inc. Shmoop University Inc,, 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2009. http://www. shmoop. com/crucible/. “The Crucible. ” Sparknotes. com. Ed. Sparknotes. SparkNotes LLc. , 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2009. http://www. sparknotes. com/lit/crucible/. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Evanston: Mcdougal Littel, 2006. Print.