Essay The Crucible - Fear

987 WordsOct 25, 20084 Pages
Fear can lead to a lot of things, but unfortunately, in humans it usually leads to something bad. Throughout history, fear has lead to some of the most violent actions by man, and some of the biggest collapses of organized society. In early American history, the people of Salem experienced this for themselves. Arthur Miller shows this in his book. The society of Salem that Miller creates in The Crucible shows how fear can slowly cause rational thought to deteriorate, leading to mass hysteria and eventually the breakdown of civilized behavior. During Act I, Miller shows how each Salem’s citizens begin to realize this fear they have, and how it is slowly starting to take over their minds. This new idea that witchcraft exists in their…show more content…
Once the people of Salem fully realize their fear, Miller shows how they try to justify this fear, but that they are in fact becoming more and more hysterical. They now try to find a justification for thoughts and their fear of evil. They need some solid proof to back up these accusations that they make, and they need to clear their own names as well. So, they arbitrarily start claiming that “[they] saw…with the Devil”, and that “[they] saw…with the Devil” (45). These unjustified explanations for their fears just shows how truly corrupted their minds become. They start naming their own friends, neighbors, and even their own family in order to clear themselves and more importantly to try to prove that this witchery is really upon them, and to prove that they are not just crazy. What it really does is show how hysteria is setting in, and how they have actually accepted these lies as the truth. While questioning each other on the matter, their breakdown can really be seen through their quick, almost sputtering manner of speaking: Hale: “Did you call the Devil last night? Abigail: “I never called him!” Parris: “She called the Devil? Abigail: “I didn’t see no Devil!” Hale: “You cannot evade me…(40)” This pace at which they speak proves how they have no real justification, only that they can accuse someone and use that as proof. They speak in little fragments that can barely be considered
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