Mob Psychology In The Crucible

380 Words2 Pages
How does the concept of mob psychology in The Crucible affect the beliefs of the accusers and other civilians? Mob psychology plays a prevalent role in the beliefs and actions of the characters in Salem. What starts off as a series of simple accusations motivated by personal greed and revenge compounds through the sheer panic of the mob. Many people have seen their neighbours and friends become the target of accusations, and thus, a deeply distrustful attitude is created. As a result of their panic, they do not stop and consider the validity of the accusations, and many innocent people are accused. For instance, Giles’ complaining of his wife, Martha, “readin’ of a book” is a slight unusual occurrence in that time period, but nowhere near valid evidence for accusations; yet, Martha is convicted of witchcraft (Miller 40). This irrational accusation is allowed because of the panicked mob psychology at the time, and as these accusations compound, it accumulates to the point where “four hundred are in the jails” (Miller 87). Other civilians are affected too, as those who believe that the accusations are false are discouraged from sharing their opinion because of mob psychology. They realize that their opinion will likely be rejected, and that by standing up they will be believed to be acting through Satan and convicted by the court. This is what occurs to people like Giles and Proctor, who attempt to save their wives from the trials. The…show more content…
It is shown that opinions spread quickly through a mob: a quiet whisper from a single individual can erupt into loud protests by the entire population. This play serves as a warning as to the dangers of mob psychology; one cannot simply speak up against the mob without being antagonized. As such, it is important to recognize how dangerous it is, and to stop the development of reckless beliefs in a mob before it is too
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