Essay, Research Paper: Crucible

Literature: Arthur Miller

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The Crucible written by Arthur Miller is a play that takes place in the sixteen
nineties during the famous but tragic witch trials. The entire community is in
pandemonium yet certain characters are also fighting internal conflicts of their
own. Miller uses three characters who manifest this internal battle ever so
clearly. Such as Mary Warren who whole personality turns upside down, John
Proctor who contemplates between the importance of his family and his own name
and Reverend Hale who battles with himself wether to carry out his job
requirements or do what he knows is right. Mary Warren is a girl who is forced
with this inner turmoil throughout this play. At the outset of the play she is
perceived to be a very shy girl who will never speak her mind as shown when
Proctor sends her home and she responds with " I'm just going home"
(21). As the play continues and as she is influenced by Abigail, Mary begins to
break this self induced mold and does what she wants. Mary Warren, along with
many other girls gets caught up in the hype of getting all the attention and
exercising power via initiating and adamantly continuing these "witch
trials". Finally John Proctor, the rationalist, shows that when people like
Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor who are the saintliest of people are accused
of being witches, something must be wrong. Mary Warren has a difficult decision
to make. She has realized that her whole way of life has been based on
injustice. However, how can she extricate herself from Abigail and her friends,
not to mention her new feelings of confidence. Mary decides to speak out against
Abigail and the others for their false accusations and said that she "
tried to kill me numerous times"(57). Yet as she does this heroic act of
overcoming her old reality, Abigail pretends that Mary is also a witch using the
poppets against her(73). Mary is now faced with yet another grueling internal
conflict: to do what she knows is right and probably die for it, or to return to
her old ways. Mary succumbs to Abigails "hypnosis " and accuses John
Proctor of forcing her to lie. Clearly the battle which Mary faced from the very
beginning was enormous. John Proctor a farmer and village commoner similarly is
faced with an inner turmoil. He has committed adultery and had absolutely no
intentions of joining in the witch trials unless hi pregnant wife were to also
get involved. After his wife got involved and eventually was set free due to the
fact that she was pregnant feels that he can't accept this. Proctor is a good
and noble man and because of this he believes at first he can't be hanged and
die a martyr when he has this sin blooming over him every waking moment . John
later says to Elizabeth that " My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good
man. Nothing's spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long
before"(136) and rather confess then die for something he flat out didn't
do. However, as John confesses, he can not allow Danforth to make it officially
documented. As Danforth asks him why John answers with a cry " because it
is my name. Because I cannot have another in my life . . . How may I live
without my name? Have given you my soul; leave me my name(143). John feels
strongly about having a good name and not dying with a bad one. Proctor weighs
both sides of his internal conflict and realizes that he must not make another
mistake. He therefore, prescribes himself to death, not for his own sake, but
rather for the sake of the others. As John dies Liz weeps saying " He have
his goodness now. God forbid I take it away"(145). Another internal
conflict is evident in Reverend Hale who initiates these problems. At first
Reverend Hale is sure about his belief that there are witches and feels that he
is carrying out the desires of G-D himself. Yet as the play moves on and Hale
sees all these honest and good people being sentenced and executed he too sees
an inner conflict. He contemplates whether to do what he is sent to do, listen
to Danforth, or does he listen to his own conscience and denounce these
proceedings as unjust and wrong. Hale decides to help out all the people wrongly
accused by encouraging them to confess and save themselves from these false
proceedings. Hale attempting to repent his own sins by tying to make people
confess states" I come to do the devils work. I come to counsel Christians
they should belie themselves . . . can you not see the blood on mt head(131).
Hale overcomes his turmoil by following the truth he knew in his heart of
hearts. Yet he is counseling people to " prevail upon your husband and
confess " and says " God damns a liar less than he that throws his
life away for pride " and convinces people to lie which is against his
religion and considered a moral sin. But he decides that earthly life is a
greater gift than eternal life. Everybody throughout their lives are faced with
inner conflicts. One must make a decision based on what they think is right and
true. These three characters probably just faced the most important decision of
their lives. Whether right or wrong their went with what they thought was the
right decision within their heart of hearts.

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