The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1639 Words7 Pages
The Importance of Intentions By the standards of virtually any society, lying is an act that is almost certain to result in some form of contempt, hatred, or even ostracism. However, not all liars are regarded in the same way- there is an obvious difference of morality between a fraudulent politician and one lying to protect his own life. In his play The Crucible, Arthur Miller demonstrates the moral and societal differences between and consequences of different types of lies: A liar’s virtue is determined primarily by intention, and while some forms of dishonesty are more acceptable than others, truth under all circumstances is vital to true morality. Miller’s stance is a rational and realistic one and can be seen not only in his play,…show more content…
Then, caught by her father in the unspeakable act of dancing in the woods, Abigail resorts to claiming to being possessed by the Devil through means of Tituba, and then to “open herself” and “go back to Jesus” (48), significantly increasing the number of witchcraft accusations because of all the people she and Betty claim to have seen with the Devil- more than ten accused on just the last page on Act I. By the end of the play, she is responsible for countless people, even those that held their ground for so long, confessing to witchcraft. Those aware of the horrendous truth- Goody Proctor, John Proctor, Reverend Hale- hate her but are helpless as to take any action. The reader comes to despise her and her lies even more when people are not only wrongly charged with crime, but also when the admirable Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor must face their death because of the standards that Abigail has set. Lying to protect reputation is also a common theme seen in politics. One especially controversial instance was President Nixon’s Watergate Scandal: Nixon employed the FBI, CIA, and IRS to harass and spy on political rivals, going so far as to order break-ins to acquire secret information. After the scandal had been partially uncovered, Nixon publicly announced that investigations were being made although he had actually blocked any such activity from happening.
Get Access