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The Internal Conflicts In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1068 words - 4 pages

 The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a play that takes place in the sixteen nineties during the famous but tragic witch trials. The entire community is in pandemonium yet certain characters are also fighting internal conflicts. Miller uses three characters that manifest this internal battle ever so clearly: Mary Warren whose whole world turns upside down, John Proctor who must weigh the importance of his family against his reputation and Reverend Hale who must decide whether to do his job, or do what he knows to be right. 

Mary Warren is a girl who is faced with this inner turmoil throughout this play. At the outset of the play she is perceived to be a very shy girl who will never speak her mind as shown when Proctor sends her home and she responds with " I'm just going home" (21). As the play continues and as Abigail influences her, Mary begins to break this self-induced mold and does what she wants. Mary Warren, along with many other girls, gets caught up in the hype of getting all the attention and exercising power via initiating and adamantly continuing these "witch trials". Finally John Proctor, the rationalist, shows that when people like Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor who are the saintliest of people are accused of being witches, something must be wrong. Mary Warren has a difficult decision to make. She has realized that her whole way of life has been based on injustice. However, how can she extricate herself from Abigail and her friends, not to mention her new feelings of confidence? Mary decides to speak out against Abigail and the others for their false accusations and said that she " tried to kill me numerous times" (57). Yet as she does this heroic act of overcoming her old reality, Abigail pretends that Mary is also a witch using the poppets against her (73). Mary is now faced with yet another grueling internal conflict: to do what she knows is right and probably die for it, or to return to her old ways. Mary succumbs to Abigail’s "hypnosis " and accuses John Proctor of forcing her to lie. Clearly the battle which Mary faced from the very beginning was enormous.

     John Proctor a farmer and village commoner similarly is faced with an inner turmoil. He has committed adultery and had absolutely no intentions of joining in the witch trials unless his pregnant wife was to also get involved. After his wife got involved and eventually was set free due to the fact that she was pregnant, he feels that he can't accept this. Proctor is a good and noble man and because of this he believes, at first, that he can't be hanged and die a martyr when he has this sin blooming over him every waking moment.  John later says to Elizabeth that " My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing's spoiled by giving them this lie that was not rotten long before" (136). He would rather confess than die for something he flat out didn't do. However, as John confesses, he can not allow...

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