The Crucible: Reputation And Irony

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Denis Diderot once said, “we swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.” This quote relates to The Crucible in the way it states that people will be accept any lie that helps them in any way. Like Mary, who went along with the lies just so she wouldn't get in trouble. Also, how it states we don't accept the truth if we don't like it relating to Danforth knowing the girl were lying, but going along with it because he didn't like it. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Miller utilizes Biblical references and irony to emphasize the recurring theme that lying is okay as long as you get away unscathed, because of reputation and revenge and the effects it has on everyone in Salem. The idea…show more content…
When Mary finally decides to stop lying and confesses to never seeing spirits Danforth questions her making her lie again to save herself. “I will tell you this-you are either lying now, or you were lying in the court, and in either case you have committed perjury and you will go to jail for it. You cannot lightly say you lied, Mary. Do you know that?”(3.515.758-764). This quote shows that once Mary tells the truth instead of the decision of if that is the truth or not being out in the courts hands, it's put into Abigail's. It is an act of one person's word against another. the court assumes the girl’s are telling the truth disregarding reputation as the decider of the truth, which gives the girls all the power. Another example of how lying is okay as long as you get away with it in The Crucible, is when Elizabeth lies to Danforth about Abigail and Proctor's affair. “To your own knowledge, has John Proctor ever committed the crime of lechery? (In a crisis of indecision she cannot speak.) Answer my question! Is your husband a lecher! (faintly) No, sir.”(3.521.1234-1240). This quote is an example of dramatic irony in the way that the audience knows John confessed to adultery and Elizabeth lies to protect her husband's reputation as an act of forgiveness for him cheating on her, resulting in Proctor getting carried away to prison. Also, knowing this is Elizabeth's first time lying in a situation where it matters the
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