The Salem Witch Trials In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Individuals vs. Society
The Salem Witch Trials, of the strangest accounts of mass hangings in history, were the fault of a few young women. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor is forced to make a decision as to whether or not to give up his good name to save this small town. People have to choose between self-interest and that which would benefit the society in which they live.
Often, people face some great cause prior to choosing to help the greater society over their own selfish wants. John deals with Abigail and a dozen or so other tormented girls, as does the whole town. They cry witchery at everyone who has wronged them or defies them in any way, causing hangings of supposed “witches” that were innocent to anyone with common sense. These girls are widely believed by all, henceforth why Proctor proposes that the children are terrorizing the town; “Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now?...Vengeance is walking Salem...The little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” (Miller 1179). Proctor explains how these girls are frauds and have caused this whole mess and how now his wife, of the best people in Salem, is now being accused of witchcraft from a puppet (poppet) placed in their home by one of the girls. He allows us to infer from his rhetorical inquiry that the people judging are of those who should really be judged and mistrusted. This will further John’s
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