The Crucible: Danforth and Hale

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Arthur Millers The Crucible possesses many examples of interesting character development. A character who one initially finds to be worthy of mercy or pity can easily become the last person deserving of sympathy. This relationship is not only formed between the reader and the characters, but between the characters and the scenario of the story itself. The victim may become the accuser, or the scholar may become the humanitarian. This manner of characterization is best shown in the relationship between Reverend John Hale and Deputy Governor Danforth. Each is objectified to the events in Salem as they come into the situation with no attachments to any of the other characters and are unfamiliar with any of their mannerisms or personalities. Hale is a well-read minister who relies upon his books. Danforth is a reputable judge who relies on consistent input and prodding. Both of these men enter the trials with very similar goals. The places they stand at the finish, however, could not be more different. This is due to the personal relationships and opinions Hale develops concerning Salem. Reverend Hale is a dynamic character who learns his role as a minister while Judge Danforth is a constant force who voices others opinions through his authority.

As Reverend John Hale is not a resident of Salem, he approaches the accusations and rumors without any prior opinion. Hale is introduced as extremely arrogant and proud with his goal being “light, goodness and its preservation”(Miller 34). This phrasing strengthens his role as a man of God, but this is not actually displayed in his personality until later. He is very book smart and this leads to some signs of immaturity. This is shown in Act I when Parris questions why the devil would come to Salem. “Why would he [the devil] choose this house to strike?”(39) In response Hale says, “It is the best the Devil wants, and who is better than the minister?”(39) This shows he enjoys the position better than he does its purpose. He...
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