Discernment In The Crucible

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Discernment was an important aspect of the Crucible, though many characters in the Arthur Miller play show poor judgement, one unlikely player in the game of Salem’s mass hysteria who made choices that showed sound logic was Abigail Williams. While her actions would not seem morally sound to the masses, especially not in the insular times of the witch trials, her endeavours into deceit and revenge were merely a product of the time. She was stifled to an extent that even dancing was considered a crime, and women were considered sinful for even daring to read. While her accusations were falsehoods and cruel to those who were jailed or put to death, she was following the ambitions she was unable to seek as a woman in 1690s Massachusetts. Her love…show more content…
Many people would argue the character of John Proctor showed the best judgement in the play, but his desire to maintain an image of a good man took away any semblance of discernment. To truly have enough wits about him to save himself, John Proctor could have turned away from desperation to not sully his name and saved his own life: a decision albeit forced onto him because of Abigail’s decisions, but a poor choice nonetheless. Sometimes, pride can be as deadly a sin as confidence is is a virtue. Proctor’s vanity did not lie in his looks, but in holding to his appearance as a Godly and innocent man --- an obsession that lead to his death. While the play itself states it was for his family, one can infer that his own selfishness -- one that did not benefit him as Abigail’s benefited her. The finality of John Proctor’s decision feels like he made his hastily, while Abigail provided herself with a quick and easy escape, fleeing Salem for greener pastures where any sort of witch hunt attached to her name was left behind

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