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Argument on "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller

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Human-Written

Words: 516 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Words: 516|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Dangers of Unchecked Power
  3. The Destructive Consequences of Mass Hysteria
  4. The Importance of Justice in Society
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Introduction

As Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" unfolds, themes of hysteria, power, and justice emerge in the context of the Salem witch trials. "The Crucible" serves as a powerful allegory for the dangers of unchecked power, the destructive consequences of mass hysteria, and the importance of justice in society. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, Arthur Miller wrote the play as a response to the Red Scare of the 1950s, drawing parallels between the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy hearings. This essay will explore these themes in detail and provide evidence of their enduring relevance in today's society.

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The Dangers of Unchecked Power

Judge Danforth, as the ultimate authority figure in Salem, wields absolute power over the witch trials. According to The New Yorker, Danforth's characterization is based on William Stoughton, the chief justice of the Salem court. Stoughton's actions and decisions during the trials resulted in numerous wrongful convictions and executions. Danforth's unchecked power leads to a lack of due process and fair hearings, creating an environment where the truth is easily manipulated. For example, his refusal to reconsider the convictions despite mounting evidence of innocence clearly demonstrates the dangers of unchecked power.

The Destructive Consequences of Mass Hysteria

Abigail Williams, driven by jealousy and a desire for vengeance, sparks the witch trials by accusing innocent individuals of witchcraft. The accusations quickly escalate, leading to widespread fear and paranoia in the community. According to the Salem Witch Museum, over 200 people were accused of witchcraft during the trials, and 20 were executed. The play illustrates how unchecked hysteria can lead to the persecution of innocent individuals and the unraveling of the social fabric. The emotional toll on characters like John Proctor, who is falsely accused and ultimately hanged, highlights the devastating consequences of mass hysteria.

The Importance of Justice in Society

Justice is distorted during the witch trials as innocent individuals are convicted based on flimsy evidence and personal vendettas. The failure of the legal system to uphold the principles of justice and due process is evident throughout the play. John Proctor, who struggles to redeem himself and challenge the corrupted system, embodies the importance of justice in society. His refusal to falsely confess and his ultimate sacrifice serve as a stark reminder of the necessity of justice, even in the face of overwhelming adversity.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, "The Crucible" offers a timeless exploration of the dangers of unchecked power, the destructive consequences of mass hysteria, and the importance of justice in society. The themes and events depicted in the play continue to resonate in contemporary society, serving as a warning about the perils of succumbing to fear and mob mentality. The enduring significance of "The Crucible" lies in its ability to prompt critical reflection on the complexities of power, hysteria, and justice, and to advocate for a society governed by fairness and reason rather than baseless accusation and oppression.

References

  1. National Endowment for the Arts - www.arts.gov
  2. The New Yorker - www.newyorker.com
  3. Salem Witch Museum - www.salemwitchmuseum.com
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Argument on “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. (2024, January 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/argument-on-the-crucible-by-arthur-miller/
“Argument on “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.” GradesFixer, 30 Jan. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/argument-on-the-crucible-by-arthur-miller/
Argument on “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/argument-on-the-crucible-by-arthur-miller/> [Accessed 14 Apr. 2024].
Argument on “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 30 [cited 2024 Apr 14]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/argument-on-the-crucible-by-arthur-miller/
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