John Hale

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, Witchcraft Pages: 3 (1097 words) Published: February 21, 2013
A crucible is defined as a severe trial or a container in which metals are melted at very high temperatures. Much like how metals mold to a new shape at very high temperatures, people change when severe trials and challenges present themselves. When innocent lives are lost, a person will realize the wrongs and attempt to make things right again. The character John Hale must forget his old teachings and way of life to try to return the town of Salem to a peaceful community. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Reverend John hale transforms from a prideful prosecutor of witches to a humble defender of the accused because of the guilt he experiences over the innocent lives lost during the Salem witch trials. Reverend John Hale arrives in Salem as a prideful man with intentions of persecuting the accused of witchcraft and ridding the town of all evil. Author Arthur Miller says of Hale, “This is a beloved errand of him; on being called here to ascertain witchcraft he felt the pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for.”(Miller 1252) Miller explains that the reverend has great pride in having the opportunity to show off his skills to rid the town of Salem of witchcraft. His skills in the beginning of the trials come from his books instead of from his own intuitions. Reverend Hale brings many books into the town in order to use their knowledge to persecute the accused. He believes these books to be infallible, and they cause him to believe that he will solve all of the town’s problems with them. Along with the knowledge from his books, he speaks, “with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit.”(Miller 1257) These stage directions imply that Hale thirsts to be the all-knowing savior of Salem. In his early days at Salem this thirst and his faith in the judicial system guide him to find the suspected witches and deal with them accordingly. The reverend’s early thirst for heroism soon vanishes as the trials pursue and more unexpected people...
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