The Irreversible Commitment
Dag Hammarskjold once said, “There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life's point of no return.” In The Crucible, Arthur Miller examines the conditions surrounding the Salem Witch trials from 1692 to 1693. The tales of witchcraft are initiated by a group of girls discovered dancing in the woods; however they cannot be blamed for the outcome of this tragedy, in which both John Proctor and Abigail cross the line resulting in irrevocable commitment. Hale entered the town of Salem as an overconfident man ready to solve Salem’s problems but instead became the cause of deaths, such as the hanging of John Proctor. The book explains that Hale, “feels himself allied with the best minds of Europe−kings, philosophers, scientists, and ecclesiasts of all churches, (34).” signifying that even before he entered the town he felt superior and was ready to show off his knowledge. His arrogance due to his expertise at the beginning of the story overshadows his abilities to make clear judgments about the issues in the town. Because he is determined to show his skills, it disables him from thinking that there may be another explanation other than wizardry. In act 4, Hale is confident that John Proctor will plead guilty to witchcraft, just like the witches did (about 100 of them). He asks Elizabeth, Proctor’s wife, to fulfill this task, being to induce him to confess. “I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess. Let him give his lie. Quail not before God’s judgment in this, for it may well be God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride. Will you plead with him? I cannot think he will listen to another. (122)” After Elizabeth has spoken to him, and after having fought with his own conscious, he finally decides to confess, and his one motive was so that his persecutors feel guilty once he will be hanged,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document