The Salem Witch trails took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It was a time where reason and facts become cloudy by unreasonable desires to place the blame for society’s problems on others. Many innocent men and women were convicted of witchcraft, and were sent to be hanged. Others spent many months in jail waiting for trial. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller illustrates the power of false confession and effect of fear in Salem proving that mankind will say anything to save their own life, when their life is in danger.
In Salem many people were accused of witchcraft. They were forced to tell lies to get a hold of their freedom. One of the individual that was accused was John Proctor. Proctor was not scared what his sins would bring him. Proctor was accused of forcing his spirit on Mary Warren. Proctor had to make a choice. He can either confess to a crime he is innocent of to save himself from execution, or die proclaiming his innocence. He ends up choosing death by saying, “Because it’s my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign my self to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live with out my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 143) He felt that a false confession would mean implicating other accused people, including his close friend Rebecca. Proctor does really say anything about Rebecca. Rebecca says a little to get Proctor thinking, “Why, it is a lie, it is a lie; how may I damn myself? I cannot, I cannot.” (Miller 140) Proctor feels that she is good and pure, unlike his disloyal self, and does not want to taint her good name and the names of his other innocent friends by calling them out. In the end he followed his conscience by telling the truth. Proctor die with a good conscience.
Fear can influence people to act out it many different ways. Mary Warren feels like she can not talk with out being threaten or betrayed by the Salem girls....
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