the crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Scapegoating Pages: 2 (972 words) Published: September 30, 2014
Todd Closson
English
8/24/14
The Crucible
Society trusts those that conform, and distrusts those that don't. One advantage of conforming to societies expectations is that you gain trust from the society. People who don't conform aren't trusted. One disadvantage is that you join the group, so you're not technically an individual anymore in your own right. In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller explains the causes of hysteria, mob mentality, scapegoating by showing the conflicts within a society.

Hysteria was a major factor in the many accusations of witchcraft that occurred throughout The Crucible. Hysteria is an overwhelming fear and excitement that overrides all logic, and is often enhanced and intensified by the presence of others who are acting out on that fear. The Crucible deals with a community that is superficially knit tightly, however. Once the accusations of witchery begin, fear and suspicion sweep the town like a wild fire. When hysteria and hidden agendas break down the social structure, honesty cannot be trusted. The church is against the devil, yet at the same time it is against such things as dancing and premature acts. The reputation of the family is very important to the members of the community; when the girls were caught dancing they lied to protect not just themselves, but their family name. The unexplained was caused by the devil, so some member of the community used the unexplained to their advantage. They girls claim that the devil took them over and influenced them to dance; they also said they saw member of the town standing with the devil. In Act 1 under pressure from Parris and Hale, Tituba names two women as witches suggested by Mr. Putnam “And I look and there was Goody Good”(Miller 50), and she then added “Aye, sir, and Goody Osburn”(Miller 50). These types of rumors went on because people didn’t want any blame to be put to them. Salem’s hysteria makes the community lose faith in the spiritual belief are strictly trying to...
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