The Observation of Power and Fear in John Millers - "The Crucible"

Essay by teckman24High School, 12th gradeB, December 2008

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Unknown Fear, By Cole S.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is exactly what happens in Salem, Massachusetts 1692. Due to the ridged religious social system, fear, and mass confusion many innocent people died.

The form of government that the Puritans had , a theocratic government,did not allow any variation of life, because of their way of life anything out of the ordinary or 'abnormal' was considered a cause of witchery. John Proctor is such a man to deviate from such a system. Not going to church only to tend his crops made is a suspect, in the governments eyes, of witchery. Not having his baby baptized might as well have been a sin back then, of course he has another valid and perfectly good reason for this, for you see the minister is a greedy selfish person who only digs him self deeper throughout the play and ultimately gets back stabbed by his own house slave.

But we need to see this though a 1692 judge not a 21st century average person who could have easily made a better call. So a 1692 judge sees a Puritan not going to church, for him this can mean only one thing, HE IS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT!,and therefore must be hanged.

Fear and confusion, the to best things that the government can do. The is what caused it to spread to a epidemic. When fear took over Salem it was sen into mass confusion and thus something as simple as Giles fearing what Martha,his wife, could be reading. He feared this because he did not know what the book, for when he tried to prey couldn't, contained. By the end of the play people did not fear witch craft and in fact hated the people that caused it in the first place, that being corrupt judges making an unjust society based on adolescent girls words. Even though they knew what they were doing was wrong they still continued. They used confusion to continue the hangings days. All of this do that the people in power could keep it.

In today's society we don't act as harsh towards the unknown, but if human kind has learned anything from history, not just from this incident, is that people with almost godly power WILL become corrupt.

Sources: Miller, John. "The Crubicle"