English Period 5
The Crucible Cause and Effect essay
A crucible is a severe test as of patience or belief, a trial. Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible is a journey through the trials of many townspeople caused by suspicions of witchcraft. As the story progresses, people’s words and actions cause Reverend John Hale to change his views on whether the people prosecuted were guilty or innocent of witchcraft. As numerous events and their consequences unfold, they cause Hale to rethink his initial views on witchcraft and to be persuaded of the innocence of those convicted in Salem.
Entering these trials, Reverend Hale feels as though he is an expert on witchcraft. He is specifically called upon by Reverend Parris to diagnose his daughter and determine whether witchcraft is the cause of her illness (Act I Pg. 33-35). Although ambivalent about the nature of the child’s illness, Hale has a slight feeling of doubt that witchcraft has occurred. He understands that the townspeople are trying to lead him with false pretenses and mass hysteria toward the conclusion that witchcraft has occurred. He begins to see a weakness in the townspeople of Salem and tries not to let hearsay accusations be the support for his verdict.
Hale’s conversations with John Proctor cause Hale to start to question his precious beliefs. In Act II, Hale is traveling around the town, going house-to-house searching for accused women to warn them that their names have been mentioned in the court. Hale soon finds himself standing at the Proctor home. During his conversation with Proctor, Hale sees a different perspective on the entire situation: Proctor: I – I have no witness and cannot prove it, except my word be taken. But I know the children’s sickness had naught to do with witchcraft. Mr. Parris discovered them sportin’ in the woods. They were startled and took sick. Hale: Who told you this?
Proctor: Abigail Williams. (Act II Pg. 68-69)
Originally, Hale was...