Crucible Essay

822 words - 4 pages

Irving Wallace, an American author and screenwriter, once stated: “To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.” Wallace admired those who were not afraid to be the “lone wolf” and stick to their own individual ideas and character, no matter the consequences. People often view submission as the one and only route; they see a majority of the population following one another and figure it is the best option. Unfortunately, conformity does have its consequences. In The Crucible, Miller reveals that the overwhelming pressures to conform causes one’s rationality to be diminished, resulting in the destruction of their morals and ultimately a society through his use of situational and dramatic irony.
Miller uses Tituba and Reverend Hale to exemplify how burdens from society urge one to make erroneous decisions through his use of situational irony throughout the play. For example, in the beginning, Reverend Hale has a strong view that witchcraft should not be looked upon as the first thing that ails a child, yet he accuses Tituba of inflicting Betty when he says, “you most certainly do (have power over Betty), and you will free her from it now! When did you compact with the devil?” (Miller I. 40). Though Hale has a strong belief in the beginning, the constant strain from those around him lead to him losing sight of what is truly righteous; he eventually gives into the pressures, all in all causing the complete destruction of his morals. Hale’s judgment is hindered by the strong persuasion of people who think they are preaching their own thoughts, but, in reality, they are actually preaching those they were previously led to believe from others. Furthermore, people who lie are rewarded with their life; Tituba confesses to witchcraft when she says, “No, no don’t hang Tituba! I tell him I don’t desire to work for him, sir” (Miller I. 43). Tituba is manipulated into her confession as the stress of Hale’s insistence results in her rationality to be diminished, which, eventually causes the loss of her integrity. Although liars are often rewarded at the surface, their overwhelming sense of guilt will torment them on the inside everyday; they will have to live with this lie hanging over their head for the rest of their life (which is not necessarily realized until after the fact). As Tituba and Hale...

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