Scapegoating In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

772 Words4 Pages
November 9-10, 1938 was known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass. Anti- Semitic Germans carried out this vicious attack targeting innocent people of Jewish faith. During this event, over 1000 synagogues were scorched and over 7500 Jewish run businesses were looted. The Jews were victims of the horrendous practice of scapegoating. As defined by dictionary.com, scapegoatism is “the act or practice of assigning blame or failure to another, as to deflect attention or responsibility away from oneself.” The German extremists blamed the Jews for the problems in their country such as hyperinflation caused by the German government printing an excess of money, not by Jewish bankers. This would lead to the Holocaust. While scapegoating was…show more content…
John Proctor seemed well respected in the town except he had one deadly secret sin, this being a secret affair with Abigail Williams, who was one of the leading accusers in this story. Abigail’s goal is to kill John’s wife Elizabeth so they may get married. She does this by blaming Elizabeth for witchcraft. In this time period, the ones leading the accusations had the most power due to the fear exhibited by society. Even though John was not accused he confesses his affair with Abigail to Danforth saying, “I beg you, sir, I beg you-see what she is...She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave...God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat.” (Miller ). Proctor was well aware of the consequences of his confession, however, the accusation of his wife put him between a rock and a hard place so to speak. Therefore, he had to decide whether to confess and hope to save his wife and ruin his reputation or not confess to ruin his wife’s reputation and save his. The position he was placed in was caused by Abigail's false accusation of Elizabeth. Due to his confession, Proctor exclaims, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller). Since his reputation is ruined and…show more content…
The reason he provided for the Germans loss of WW1 was because of the Jews of Germany, specifically the bankers. When he came to power he organized one of the largest mass murdering schemes in history, that being the Holocaust. In states in his book Mein Kampf, “Rational anti-Semitism, however, must lead to systematic legal opposition.…Its final objective must unswervingly be the removal of the Jews altogether.”. Hitler further emphasized his anti-Semitic feelings by passing the Nuremberg Laws. Encyclopedia Britannica describes this law as, “the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour and the Law of the Reich Citizen—became the centerpiece of anti-Jewish legislation and a precedent for defining and categorizing Jews in all German-controlled lands.” The law also set strict regulations on marriage and business. Thus, a person of Jewish faith would have their basic human rights stripped right out of their hands Moreover, they were treated not as people but as “Untermenschen” or subhumans, just because of false accusations of the WW1 outcome. Part of the reason for society accepting these accusations was a result of the power and influence Hitler held at that time in
Open Document