The Crucible - Fear Makes People Either Attack or Retreat

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 Pages: 3 (881 words) Published: August 17, 2010
Fear makes people either attack or retreat –

Within my expository essay I have chosen to focus on elements of Arthur Millers, ‘The Crucible’, which Illustrates the notion that fear creates various and diverse responses in people. My essay revolves around characters who exhibit signs of attack in the face of conflict, and conversly those who retreat. I have also drawn on the documentry about the Tank Man to explore further the way in which people will react when faced with conflict. Considering my audience, teens and young adults, I have chosen to write in a formal manner, although I will tone it down to appeal more to their language and to retain their attention. Fear is defined as an emotional response to a percieved threat; it is a survival mechanism, and, depending on the person, it determines how we react when we are faced with such confrontations. Arthur Miller presents us with many examples of the different aspects of fear triggered reactions present in the small, once peacful town of Salem. To retreat is just the first of the three reactions that will be discussed. This trait is displayed through Reverand John Hale, a minister who specalises in the detection of witchcraft, with his presence in Salem setting the hysteria in motion, though he soon recognises his folly and hastily decamps. To attack is the second reaction, and there is no finer example than the one brave man who, despite adversity and slaughter of his peers, made a bold statment that arguably changed the course of history. A more erratic character can show signs of both these traits, just like the easily swayed Mary Warren who both attacks and retreats in fear of Abigails wrath.

Reverand Hale is a man of God and therefore is an expert on perceiving “evil spirits”. He is impeccably honest with good intentions, only using his gifts of high religion to enforce holy laws against all who is tainted. We see Hale’s character slowly...
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