How Does Arthur Miller Use Herd Mentality In The Crucible

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But to what extent are people willing to go under herd mentality? In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Miller uses the Salem Witch Trials to demonstrate how social pressure can influence innocent people to the extent of confessing lies in order to protect themselves from punishments or death. In the play, it has said that large number of accused have confessed in order to save themselves from execution; however , confession only prevented execution, not time served in jail (A. Miller). Most the the people confess before the court and are freed from execution; those are the majority of the survivors (Brater). However, there is one exception, John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth Proctor. She has gotten away because she is pregnant, but stated above she still serves some time in jail (Broom). Being accused for…show more content…
The reason Proctor gives is that he wants to be remembered as a man who is honest and royal to his wife, and gets annoyed when the judge asks for a signature for confession. He insists what he has said is enough, and even so they would not let him off the hook (A. Miller). John Proctor, in fact, is strong willed enough to ignore herd mentality that pressures him to his last moments, but even his decision wavers between confess and not to confess, showing how powerful herd mentality is. That is from those who are accused, there are also the by-standers, like the judges, villagers, and etcetera. Nobody stands up for the accused directly in the entire play, even if they feel really guilty about all the people dying, they still did not step up and say something (Sundstrand). Near the end of play, both Hale and Parris are sick of executing, and they try to do whatever they can to make Proctor confess, even if it’s a half-hearted one, so they would not have to see any more of the tragedy and feel guilty for
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