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The Crucible Essay

860 words - 3 pages

"The Salem tragedy begins with Abigail Williams, but the final responsibility for it lies in the community as a whole." Do you agree? (2 pages max) The Salem tragedy began with Abigail Williams however the final responsibility for it did lie in the community as a whole. Abigail's motivation was completely selfish, she found power and respectability within the community because of her accusations. She played on the fears of the closed Puritan society who took everything she said at face value. The society did not think that perhaps a child could be deceptive and Abigail played upon that.The Salem tragedy can not merely be defined as the witch-hunts, it represented a loss of innocence and the destruction of the society. The witch-hunts in Salem were supposed to build up the community, cleansing it from evil, however they destroyed the society and the final responsibility for this destruction lay in the community as a whole.The society survived because it worked together within agreed boundaries, when people broke these boundaries and questioned the law then the society was destroyed. The society believed that it needed to keep control of the individuals in order to survive and so when rumors of witch craft (a form of acting out) spread, the community smothered them. By bringing in John Hale, the community appeared to be handling the situation whereas in reality, they were adding fuel to the fire. " I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up." John Hale Act Four page 115.Witchcraft was not the only way that the society was challenged during the Salem Tragedy. John Proctor saw that the society was motivated by greed and in his own way, he broke the boundaries. By not attending church, he felt he was making a statement, when the witch-hunt began however, this was automatically seen as suspicious. He was willing to stand up against the pressures imposed by society even if it meant the loss of his life. He was willing to admit to his faults and sins if it meant that his children had a good name. "I have three children- how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?" John Proctor Act Four page 124. He was prepared to accept responsibility for his actions if it meant that the truth was told. This was in contrast with some...

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