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The Crucible - The Hidden Reasons for Salem Accepting Abagai

Uploaded by Quest4Glory on Jul 05, 2004

Throughout society and throughout literature, vulnerable communities under certain conditions can be easily taken advantage of by a person or group of people presumed innocent. In the play, "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, there are three main factors that allowed the girls fallacious stories to be believed: Salem’s flawed court system, its lack of diversity in beliefs and religion, and the lack of a strong leader in the town. Although Abigail and the girls initiated the accusations, the responsibility lies with the entire community. It was the deterioration of Salem's social structure that precipitated the murders of many innocent people. The church, legal system and the togetherness of the community fell just to protect social status.

Salem’s flawed court system was chiefly responsible. Under their courts, denial was considered a terrible sin. The narrow mindedness of the court possessed an unwritten law that if a name was brought out within the court, without any questioning, that person was presumed guilty. In this system, innocence is not taken into consideration, and the court is convinced they are right only if the victim confesses. There is no hearing for the victim, and even if they are truly innocent, they are only left with two options: They have the choice of denial, which will lead to their execution; or confessing, which gets them thrown into jail.

To prove that all these people were actually guilty also played a part in lengthening the tragedy. Herrick, Cheever and Danforth are all full of their own importance and strictness of the court. They ask question after question to each victim until the defendant breaks down and confesses to save their life. Hale, a person who was brought in from out of town to ward off the evil spirits, began to realize the victims’ innocence towards the end. However, he knew the strictness of the court: "Though our hearts break, we cannot flinch, these are new times."

Another contributing factor was the fact that everyone in the town had the same beliefs. The fact that they were isolated from all other groups of people with different beliefs created a church-led Puritan society that was unable to handle change. The reputation of a family was very important to the members of the community. When the girls were caught dancing in the woods, they lied to protect not just themselves but the reputation of their families. When caught, they...

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Uploaded by:   Quest4Glory

Date:   07/05/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (788 words)

Views:   3816

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