J'accuse: Danforth Essay

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Salem is in ruins. People had to hang for no apparent reason. These things have one cause: a defective and corrupted government. They had to die for being innocent, for trying to prove what was in fact genuine: that their guilt was unmerited. It was all Abigail's fault, and you did not notice what was in front of your eyes all the time. You have seen her as a saint with a pure soul only because she said things you wanted to hear. That was all acting, and you were too blind to see!

Do you really deserve to be a judge of “the highest court of the supreme government of this province” (page 79) if you cannot differentiate right from wrong, if everyone is guilty who is just a little suspicious according to your notion? You don't even know the people of Salem, saying “Who is this?” (page 80) when confronted by the ones to be prosecuted. It is appalling that you are incapable of recognising even well known citizenry such as Giles Corey and John Proctor in such a small village!

You say that the ones who know they are correct will be treated well, that “no uncorrupted man shall fear this court” (page 88), but fear persists anyway, because you are one of the few who is corrupted! It is unfeasible to be uncorrupt if you get judged by a corrupt government, because for them good is bad and vice-versa. You are Manichaean, because for you, “a person is either with this court or against it” (page 85), which only underlines your primitive, dualistic discernment of matters.

John Proctor is a man of God, he did accept the Gospel, the religion as a whole and the theocratic nature of the community, but he did not come to church only because he had a dislike towards the minister, Parris, who was a cold, pitiless man. He was the one who started it all by saying that apparently there is witchery involved in the cases of the comatose children, and you believed him right from the start, even though there was no cogent proof!

Following on, justice is based on proof, and if you ask whether people “do not doubt your justice” (page 89), everyone who is in fact innocent will say they do. At a point, you could not accept the apologies of people since a dozen “have already hanged for the same crime” (page 113) by you. You could still turn back, but your laurels were more important to you than real justice, and now that it is all gone I think you have...