Massachusetts: the restricting ways of puritan life began to take their toll on the human population, the inability to be flawed or express ones personal thoughts lead to a series of hysterical outbreaks with catastrophic effects known as the Salem witch hunt. The impossible expectations laid ground for a series of exhilarating and murderous accusations. One man who withheld the truth for self-preservation would be forced to confess his sins in attempt to save his wife.
However, as fallacy spread tar throughout Salem, its roots would be deep enough to trap logic and reason underground; the truth would not be heard and the confessor would pay the ultimate price as a means of redemption and an end to the witch hunt. John Proctor, a man of strong beliefs and high morality that even he, himself cannot uphold would find himself swept under and drowned by a vicious wave of confusion and accusation. The devastation of witch hunting enveloped Salem, spreading throughout its deepest recesses like an airborne poison.
During the puritan era, the church and state were tied so closely that religious morality became law. ‘This is a court of law. The law based upon the bible. ” Detonator stated on page 102 vile questioning Abigail about Proctor’s and Mary Warren’s claims. If people do not live up to ideals they are suspected of witchcraft; there was a practice Of complete intolerance in puritan law. In the fever Of suspicion and accusation that was the hunt, one cried witch based on harbored jealousy and resentments. You think it God’s work that you should never lose a child, nor grandchild and bury all but one? ‘ (28) Ann Putnam jealousy of Rebecca providence is evident as she looks for something to blame for her own hardship. She soon convinces herself that the death of Rebecca, to whom she is greatly envious, would cease her pain and so condemns her once allegation has filled the air. The hysteria in Salem was reached by the constricting moral laws of puritan society. As said by the author, Arthur Miller on page 20 ‘These people had no ritual for the washing away of sins. The witch hunt gave people the opportunity to confess their own sins in the form of indictments, they, themselves would be cleansed of the sin and someone else would suffer the consequences. Overall, due to religious ideals, many people were suspected of witchcraft, with jealousy and resentment fueling the fierce charges which comprised the hysterical outbreaks caused by the strict and unsustainable laws of 1962. John Proctor was a respected Salem resident, although not upstanding n his own eyes. While receiving the resentment of some, he believed witchcraft to be a dangerous fiction.
Proctor had high morals, and due to a particularly heinous lapse he views himself as an irredeemable sinner. “Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem, has come to regard himself as a kind Of fraud. ” (Miller, 20) Proctor was a prestigious man in the eyes of his neighbors, however not lacking imperfection. In secret, he committed adultery With his previous maid, Abigail. He would not confess for fear of losing his reputation, however knowing the truth he sees himself as a fake. Proctor was also a self-guided man, one Who would not blindly follow authority. When look to heaven and see my money [the golden candlesticks] glaring at his [Reverend Paprika’s] elbows – it hurt my prayer. ” (65) After being questioned on his absence from church, Proctor states his opinion of Paris. This shows that he does not respect authority for its title, but he judges the figure itself and if he deems them unworthy he has no fear of his opinion being known. Believing the allegations to be attributed to nothing more than a “whore’s vengeance” he so states: “l believe she [Abigail] means to murder. 104) Proctor testifies his position in terms to witchcraft and later in a frenzy to expose Abigail: he confesses to his affair with her. He believes there is not witchcraft afoot, but murder; Abigail is accusing people of witchcraft in the mindset of having them killed, Proctor has failed to uphold his own moral laws and hence lost his self-respect and due to the visualization of his opinions he has gained not only resentment but suspicion as well. With extra incite to Abigail motives he knows the ‘Witchcraft” in Salem to be nothing but lies and has thrown everything on the line to reveal the truth.
Power struggles tangle the citizens of Salem in a web of falsification and indirect murder, bringing the hunt to a dramatic finally as John proctor is executed. Proctor was arrested for contempt Of the court as a result of attempting to defend his wife, Elizabeth against Abigail accusations. “A person is either With this court or he must be counted against it. There is no road between. ” (94) As Detonator states, there is no middle ground in the eyes Of the law, you are either With the court, or you are against it and so against God. When Proctor and two others.
Giles Corey and Francis Nurse come o the court with evidence of their wives innocence, the court refuses to see it. Both Giles and proctor are arrested for contempt of the court, which “proves” they are allied with the devil. Proctor refuses to make his confession public not for the sake of his reputation but to save his soul, “He have his goodness now, God forbid take it from him. ” (Elizabeth Proctor, 145) Faced with a dilemma, Proctor had to choose: confess to witchcraft, a lie to save his life, or die like a saint, which he believes himself not to be. It is no longer his reputation but his soul that is at stake.
He chooses not to lie, completely redeeming himself and regaining his honor while preserving the reputation to his trends. Proctors tragic death ends the witch hunt. “If you think God wills you to raise rebellion, Mr.. Detonator, you are mistaken! ” (Hale, 30) Detonator refused to spare proctor without a proper confession because it would cast doubt upon the guilt of those already executed. However, friends to Proctor will ‘Weep” for his death, they know him to be innocent of witchcraft and his death without a confession caused people to question the guilt of all those hung, people came to their senses and the witch unto was concluded.
In total: The courts intolerance and refusal to relent respected people were arrested. These respected people (like proctor) were seen as saints in Salem, without a confession they died mortars arousing the anger of the town and ending the hunt. In “The crucible”, even a valued citizen of Salem, like John Proctor would fall victim to Old resentments and be condemned to death, no matter his resistance and evidence. *insert connections* Witch hunting is a twisted and sick pattern Of human nature, that has and Will claim logic and all reason in its murderous rampage time and time again, if we allow it.