Conform To The Crucilbe Essay

1166 words - 5 pages

Imagine a world where everybody conformed to the point where people are so similar, it is often difficult to tell them apart. This would be a stagnant way of life, the oppressed are never integrated into society, and people are too afraid to share new ideas or inventions. Complete conformity stamps out the beginnings of revolution and reform. However, without conformity, there are no societies, no cities or countries or peace. It takes a balance of conformity and nonconformity to create a society. Those who conform are considered normal, and those who do not are considered outcasts. These outcasts are the ones who start new trends, invent new things, share new ideas and call for reform, though they do tend to have less of a social network and are more likely to become scapegoats in the face of panic. In “The Crucible”, a play set in 1692 in the small town of Salem, outcasts such a Tituba are the first to be tried as witches. Characters are often slow to halt the trials, for fear of ruining their reputations, or losing their lives at the hands of their conformist neighbors.
Conformity can be rewarding in certain situations, such as being tried as a witch. It one conforms to being a witch on the court's and society's standards, they will keep their lives. Condemned witches are hung for their deal with the Devil. When Tituba pleads “No, no, don't hang Tituba! I tell him I don't desire to work for him, sir.” (Miller 44), she is denying any consensual work with the Devil, claiming that he used her as a tool, and she was trying to resist. This is exactly what Reverend Hale, a minister who specializes in finding witches from Beverly, wants to hear. However, if one does not conform and admit to being a witch, and claims innocence on the grounds of their moral standards, they are hung. In a puritan society, confession of a crime clears you of it, in the sense that now your actions are between you and God. In these instances, conformity is life saving.
Though conforming has its merits, it can come with a cost, namely a person's morals or beliefs. Elizabeth Proctor, married to John Proctor, is a Puritan women who does not lie, as that is her moral standard. At the beginning of the play, John had an affair with Abigail, who is playing witch finder, accusing anybody and everybody. In an attempt to put an end to Abigail's rapid fire accusations, John admits to committing adultery with Abigail. Elizabeth and Abigail are the only other people who know about it, and Abigail surely will not confess to it. When John admits to adultery, Danforth, the judge, brings in Elizabeth to verify what John has said. Since it is well known that Elizabeth does not lie, what she says must be the truth. Danforth looks her in the eyes, asking “To your knowledge, has John Proctor ever committed the crime of lechery?” (Miller 113). Terrified from Danforth's harsh tone and the consequences of her answer, she faintly and timidly replies “No, sir” (Miller 113). Pleased that he...

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