The Theme Of Hysteria In The Crucible

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“Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers? I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem - Vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” With vengeance upon neighbors rampant in the town, John Proctor found himself accused of witchcraft and under arrest. John had been trying to retrieve his wife, who had been falsely accused of witchcraft. His conflict of attempting to free his wife as well as his later internal conflict over his life illustrates the theme of hysteria in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Such Hysteria…show more content…
At the end of the play, John is forced into a decision that would affect his no matter his choice. He can either be hanged, or live in shame for the rest of his days. In the end he chooses to die rather than to compromise his all important reputation within the town. This internal struggle helps illustrate the theme of hysteria in a few ways. John undergoes his own hysteria as he comes to see that the only way to make John Proctor a good man was to not confess for a crime he didn’t commit. One has to be hysterical to make the choice to sacrifice their life over being shunned meaning his behavior denotes to a hysteria of his own. “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!” John was thrown into his own hysteria when they attempted to force him to sign the paper saying that he confessed, as it would be a killing blow to his reputation. Another reason the theme of hysteria ties in with this conflict is through its involvement with how his ultimatum came about. The entire scenario would have been avoided if it weren’t for the religious fervor of the townspeople as well as the greediness of people like the Putnams. John Proctor’s internal battle was sparked from the religious hysteria, and lead into his self…show more content…
His external struggle over the freedom of his wife helped portray the hysteria prodded on by religion within the town, while his internal aided in portraying hysteria by showing that there was more than one kind of hysteria within the story. While when the play was originally written to show the ridiculousness of the red scare and the hysteria it brought, a more contemporary take on the play can relate it to today, through how some view Muslims or any people from the Middle East. Many people in America, sometimes entire communities hate as well as fear these people. We cannot continue to go on blindly hating other humans which is too common now, but we must rather act together as a community to better ourselves and our world. We must replace religious and racial intolerance with cooperation and respect if we are to continue as a species. You can either be a help or a hindrance to that
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