Moral Integrity In The Crucible Essay

836 words - 3 pages

Individual moral integrity and the lack thereof are illustrated by Arthur Miller in his play, The Crucible. The fear of witchcraft engulfs the Puritanical society thus creating a mob rule. The fate of the town depends upon the morals of its people. John Proctor and Reverend Hale are key players in condemning the Witch Trials; ruling the mob are Abigail, Judge Danforth, and their followers. Even though the trials were intended to end when Salem was cleansed of the alleged witchcraft, it remained the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the majority did not become completely overthrown by mass hysteria.The lack of moral integrity displayed by characters in the play causes a string of destructive events. Because of Reverend Paris's sole concern of social acceptance and political power, the acts of Abigail and her followers go unpunished. This sends the town of Salem into a whirlwind of lies. A domino effect takes its toll as accusations multiply. Abigail, in the driver's seat of the conspiracy, is granted a loyal following. This group lacks a respect for themselves and a respect for others. The townspeople and especially the girls caught dancing feed the mass conformity. As a result of blind conformity and weak morals, many friends and neighbors are cynically disowned and mercilessly executed. Judge Danforth, who is sentencing death upon many innocent victims, further illustrates a lack of individual moral integrity. He does not have the power to admit the mistakes he has made and admit the irrationality of the trials. "You will sign your name or it is no confession," Danforth forcefully explains to John Proctor (142). Danforth will not budge even after Proctor has verbally admitted to "seeing the devil". By this climactic point of the play, Reverend Hale has ended the alliance between himself and Danforth. He has now grasped the true motives behind the witch conspiracy.Hale, when he first enters the witch trials, believes all of it to be legitimate. He expresses a strong will in the hunt and a strong view of his morals. He is partially responsible for getting the entire cleansing proceedings under way. As the events of the town continue to pass, and the numbers of the accused continue to rise , Hale begins to reassess his opinion towards the trials. He objects to Judge Danforth, "We cannot blink it any more. There is a...

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