The Crucible: Intolerance

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Erik Lindroth
Ms. Wasserman
English 11
October 18, 2012

Intolerance is an action that was a major part of puritan society, and is still encountered in our modern world. Ironically, intolerance is a often a result of religious expectations and differing opinions. In both the Puritan society of Salem and the modern world, intolerance results from between those who strongly follow a religion, and others who differ. Since religions contain a variety of ideas and beliefs that are regarded so highly, religious members tend to become intolerant to varying beliefs and behaviors. Even those in Puritan culture who were not necessarily a religious leader, but still held high authority, made intolerant claims. Puritans related everything to God and the Devil, so judges, just the same as reverends, ruled with religion. Leaders such as Pastor Scott Lively in the current world, or Reverend Hale and Judge Danforth from Salem, led the intolerant accusations of individuals who differed and opposed the beliefs of their religion.

In the Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, intolerant actions are seen quite frequently by characters such as Abigail, Reverend Parris and Reverend Hale. A major example of intolerance can be found between Judge Danforth, John Proctor and Giles Corey. Proctor and Giles had presented deposition’s to the court explaining how Abigail’s actions are all lies. Danforth, a man of pride and honor, is not moved by this evidence. He is starting to believe they are trying to undermine the court’s power. “You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between,” (Miller 87). Danforth believes there are only two options, one the opposite of the other. Since the court does God’s work, anyone against the court is therefore against God. Danforth accuses the two with intolerance because they deviate from his religious beliefs. The next example of intolerance is brought forth by Reverend Hale....
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