The Art Of Deception : The Origin Of And Escape From The Spread Of Falsehoods Essay

1413 WordsNov 16, 20166 Pages
The Art of Deception: The Origin of and Escape from the Spread of Falsehoods Throughout the centuries, episodes of hysteria have disturbed humanity, plaguing both small communities and powerful empires. Although often short-lived, these instances of widespread panic can disrupt social and political order. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller reveals that self-centered ambition underlies the spread of false ideas, which can fuel societal paranoia. However, Miller argues that individuals can escape this hysteria and preserve their dignity if they choose to sacrifice their personal needs by denying false allegations. First, Abigail’s rivalry with Elizabeth Proctor and Mrs. Putnam’s grief over infants’ deaths demonstrate that people accuse others in order to solve their own problems. Second, Danforth’s concern of losing authority and Tituba’s fear of death illustrate that fear also serves as a hidden sentiment that can trigger widespread paranoia. Finally, John Proctor’s and Gile Corey’s refusal to confess to witchcraft indicate that in the midst of hysteria, those who reject all falsehoods liberate themselves from deception and retain their dignity. As illustrated in Abigail’s resentment toward Proctor’s wife and Mrs. Putnam’s sorrow over the deaths of her children, people falsely accuse others of crimes to provide relief for their own situations. Early in the play, Mrs. Ann Putnam accuses Goody Osburn of killing her infants. Miller describes Mrs. Putnam as “a twisted soul of

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