Comparing Conformity In The Crucible And A Model Of Christian Charity

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Throughout America’s history there has been a clear struggle between the beliefs of the individual versus those of society. The literary works of Arthur Miller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and John Winthrop all explore the importance of conformity in America. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, traces the consequences of hysteria invading a community in the form of witch accusations in the village of Salem. In The Minister’s Black Veil, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the reader sees how the minister’s black veil results in the society’s isolation of him. Finally, A Model of Christian Charity, a speech by John Winthrop, champions religion playing the central role in a community. These literary works all confront the consequences of mimicking the …show more content…

The Crucible reveals that a uniform society will immediately turn on itself when faced with a threat. However, A Mode of Christian Charity advocates for a single way of living because it supposedly brings a society together. John Winthrop intends people to use conformity in order to bind people together making a stronger community. Winthrop argues, “to provide for our prosperity is to followe the counsell of Micah,”(Winthrop, 1-2). Since the word Micah refers to a prophet in the Bible, Winthrop believes that religion knits a group together and leads to well-being in a community. Even though conforming through religion is very specific, Winthrops’ positive attitude towards conformity the reader to believe conformity is a fail-safe conduct and persuades the reader prosperity naturally follows alikeness. On the contrary, Arthur Miller argues that unity is insincere when built upon conformity. When witch accusations explode around the extremely religious town of Salem, Cheever betrays Proctor in order to take away his credibility in court. Cheever points out that Proctor, “plow on Sunday,”(Miller 3, 223). This seemingly insignificant detail actually shows how important religious expectations were in Salem because the people …show more content…

Although A Model of Christian Charity argues conformity leads to prosperity in a community, The Crucible and The Minister’s Black Veil urge people to avoid taking after society because strict enforcement of identical ideals results in ignorance and an inability to understand one another. The Minister’s Black Veil most effectively questions the significance of conformity because people in today’s world see their own society perfectly reflected in the social standards of town of Milford. The story starts off with, “spruced bachelors looked sidelong at pretty maidens, and fancied that the Sabbath sunshine made them prettier.” Hawthorne elaborates on how town of Milborn uses the Sabbath as a social event in order to also reveal the emphasis the town puts on materialistic and physical values. This parallels with today’s world because Americans outwardly say that what is on the inside matters while at the same time promoting models in order to define one’s worth. Since The Minister’s Black Veil closely resembles today’s world, readers understand at a deeper level the literary work’s overall meaning which holds that conformity hurts society’s ability to reason and adapt to new circumstances. If the reader realizes how dangerous conformity can be, then they will make a much needed effort to accept and actively learn to

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