Good Intentions; Unfortunate Results
“The path to hell is paved with good intentions,” says an English Proverb. This can also be seen as true about literature set in the 17th century all the way to characters living in the turn of the 19th century. Those were simpler times when people believed in the devil, witches and vampires as explanations because there were so many things they didn’t understand. Characters in these strict moral times would try to do what they thought would be for the best only to have the situations turn out worse than before. The irony in these works of literature is that a lot of times, good intentions ended badly.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a prime example of how good and pure intentions go wrong and turn into the problems they tried to avoid. Rev. Parris is the epitome of worrying too much about his public image. Parris is first introduced while sitting next to his sick daughter’s bed worrying about her well being, but as Miller states, “he believed he was being persecuted wherever he went…” (3). This paranoia causes him to refuse the doctor’s suggestion that he bring in a priest that specializes in works of the devil. Parris declines because he fears that if word gets out that there is witchcraft going on in his family, he would lose his position in the church. Because of his worry about his public image, Parris actually loses respect from the town and indirectly sends multiple people to jail and their deaths. His good intentions had unfortunate results on everyone including himself. Judge Danforth is another character who during the witch trials has his intentions turned around. Danforth clearly states his intentions to save innocent souls from the devil and to condemn those that are doing dealings with the devil. Judge Samuel Sewall has the same intentions as Danforth which he writes down later in his diary. These intentions to keep the people of Salem safe obviously backfired when many innocent lives were taken because...
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