The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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Huey Nguyen Huddleston Period 4 9 October 2015 Fear to Mass Hysteria Arthur Miller 's, The Crucible, presented a theme of mass hysteria. The author states that when there is mass hysteria, many are suffering from it but some are also gaining from it. What started with a few girls playing around became a huge problem in Salem that changed its entire society. Starting off as a fear, which was caused by these girls due to their accusation of innocent citizens of witchcraft, it turned into mass hysteria as more and more people started believing them. It lead to wrongful accusations and hanging of many innocent Salem citizens. Fear could be used for many things; it can be used for personal gains; it can be used to increase your political power; …show more content…

Putnam is shown to be using the mass hysteria as a way for personal gain because he uses it to gain more land for a cheap price. Judge Danforth was very strict on this. He wouldn’t allow Giles to use his evidence without giving the name of his informer. This could show that Danforth wants to make his cases really tight or that he already believes that anyone accused is a witch. Danforth uses the mass hysteria to increase his political power. He doesn’t change his mind that all the accused were guilty of witchcraft. At first, he truly believes the girls that all of the accused are actually witches. However, as it becomes more clear that all the accused could not have been witches, Danforth continues convicting the accused to save his reputation and political power. “...I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement. Them that will not confess will hang. Twelve are already executed; the names of these seven are given out, and the village expects to see them die this morning. Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now...”(135). Danforth makes it clear that he will not pause or pardon the case because it would make him look bad. He has already convicted 12 people; if he stopped, it would look like he was hesitating and possibly cause suspicion in the justice of the hangings. Danforth uses the hangings to slowly gain his political power.

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