Fear And Mass Hysteria In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Fear in The Crucible Fear is a powerful emotion. It defines humanity. The sole reason humans continue to progress and invent is due to the fear of the unknown. Humans have feared the unknown since the beginning of time. Therefore, it is logical that knowledge creates security. In scientifically ignorant societies such as puritan Salem in 1692, fear runs rampant when dozens of innocent people are accused of witchcraft and some hanged. In Arthur Miller’s famous play
The Crucible, mass hysteria leads to the wrongful accusation and hanging of dozens of Salem citizens for witchcraft. It also happened in 1962 when 62 textile workers came down with a disease that was blamed on the bite of a Junebug. When fear becomes widespread and delusional as it has in Salem, it is not fear anymore; it is mass hysteria, a condition affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness. The human behavior of mass hysteria is evident in both Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and in the modern event The June Bug Epidemic. The emotional mass hysteria that drives the plot of Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, is a wildfire ignited by several sparks in Act 1. As witchcraft first appears, Hale proceeds to ask Abigail and Tituba questions and Abigail quickly turns the blame on someone else. During the questioning of Abigail, Hale asks her a question and Abigail’s response shocks everyone: HALE. You have sent your spirit

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