The Crucial Difference Between Law and Justice
Are law and justice the same thing? Many believe the idea that if one disobeys the law, they must be brought to justice. However, this isn’t always the case. The fact that there is law permitting or forbidding an act that does not determine that it is right or wrong. While justice is meant to be administered with the utmost fairness and equality, Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible demonstrates that this does not always prevail.
In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the citizens of Salem seem to think that law and justice are the same thing. However, this is not true. In act three, Danforth says “You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it (Danforth, 90).” When Danforth says this, it shows that he believes that unless someone was ruling with the court, then they were against it, and therefore, evil. Clearly, Salem does not practice separation of church and state, which at the time made for a lot of bigotry and religious-driven harm and persecution. Because the Bible says that any female that commits the sin of lechery should be stoned to death, that does not make it humane or justified. The citizens of Salem seem to lack the ability to comprehend that.
An underlying theme within The Crucible is theocracy; God is supposedly the ultimate leader, judge, and arbiter. The way Salem sees it, God needs men on earth to instill justice in the lives of the citizens of earth. Hathorne, Danforth, Parris, and Hale were all part of that system. Though it seems that only those who confessed to having committed grave sins against God, along with those who refused to confess had a sense of that justice. Salem believed...
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