Fear Causes Irrationality
A government requires very delicate balances; the slightest disturbance will cause it to come crashing down. For example, governments must have a balance between their values and their desire to make things happen. In 1933 Germany’s balance was disrupted when Adolf Hitler became chancellor. He tipped the scale away from values and morals, and eventually led to the collapse of a previously great country. Examples can be found throughout history of governments and leaders falling, after their balances are tipped. In Salem, 1692, the balance between fear and rationality was disrupted, causing the collapse of the Salem court and its leaders. In his play, The Crucible, Arthur Miller exhibits how fear causes irrationality and can destroy the credibility of a government through the fall of the Salem court during the witch hysteria. Fear of the Devil, and those who compacted with him, effect each person either directly or indirectly in The Crucible, whether or not they believed in the trials. Those who do not support the court are affected indirectly by the people around them, who are in hysterics and accusing innocent people of witchcraft. John Proctor is disgusted with the religious leaders who are directing the witch trials. Proctor is expressing his thoughts of corruption among them when he exclaims (Miller 1212), “God is dead!” Proctor is denouncing the church leaders, saying that God is absent, or dead, in their minds and lives. The quote exhibits how the witch trials have affected Proctor. They have caused him to lose what little respect he had for characters affiliated with both the court and the church, such as Hawthorne, Danforth, and especially Paris. The lives of most people in Salem are being monopolized by the fear of witches, and those who are not afraid of the witches are afraid of being accused of witchcraft. Salem is being plagued by fear; this fear is causing the people of Salem to act irrationally and illogically. At the...
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