How Does Arthur Miller Present Power In The Crucible

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When you look upon stories in the past, many think they could have made better decisions than the characters portrayed. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, power is wielded well by some, and not by others. A character who resembles this is Parris, who is powerful through instilling fear of witchcraft in the community. However, powerless as he is constantly in fear. Throughout The Crucible, Parris shows great moments of power and influence. While Danforth is trying to figure out what really happened in the woods, he asks Mr. Parris what he knows. Parris responds, ”I can only say, sir, that I never found any of them naked” (97). Parris was the only person in the town of Salem with authority who observed what happened in the forest. He knows that …show more content…

Parris cares more about his reputation than the truth. This one decision of not telling the truth would keep innocent people from getting hanged. He is given the choice to do the right thing but is too deep into his egocentric thinking to realize the importance of telling the truth. The story would have a completely different outcome had Parris told what he actually saw. The entire town who had feared witchcraft has been giving power to the people who committed witchcraft themselves. Another instance where Parris influences the court about how they are going to act is when he hammers down on Proctor by blurting out signals of John Proctor’s involvement with the devil, “Such a Christian that will not come to church but once a month”(84). Parris …show more content…

Although Parris does influence the court he is supposed to be a faithful man who tells nothing but the truth. However, he lives in constant fear of a single remark from a girl that could bring him down and all of his power. When Parris is trying to prevent Mary Warren from admitting to doing witchcraft at the beginning of the book he keeps interrupting causing Danforth to exclaim, “I pray you, Mr. Parris”(82). This is from the high judge, who is not worried about Parris, but more trying to get to the bottom of what's happening in Salem. At this point Parris is desperate as all he has done through the whole book is attempt to keep his power and clear his record. Danforth even comes to cut him off and tell him to behave. However, Parris is incredibly desperate and shouts out whenever he can. Another instance of Parris having little power is his fear of being harmed or even killed. When he is trying to convince Danforth to postpone the hangings he states, “Tonight, when I open my door to leave my house — a dagger clattered to the ground”(118). This informs Danforth of when Abigail stripped him of his wealth and left him with very little. However, he knows his life is in danger so he is trying to do the right thing to convince god otherwise. A dagger being dropped in front of someone's door exemplifies the fear that Parris knows he is in danger. He

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