Witch Hunts In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1405 Words6 Pages
Throughout the ages, people repeatedly use witch hunts as a method for dealing with issues that are widespread. A witch hunt is surprisingly efficient in dealing with all offenders because once the movement gains momentum, people are accused left and right for many reasons, such as protecting themselves or bringing down others. This goes so far that even once all criminals are dealt with, the crusade goes on to accuse innocent bystanders. It is particularly easy to convict innocent people in a witch hunt because when the accusations are for invisible crimes, there is no way for the defendant to prove himself innocent, leaving the accuser in a place of greater power. In The Crucible, many people take advantage of the fact that witchcraft is an invisible crime, earning the accusers trust and letting them take control of any situation that a witch hunt opposer is beginning to dominate. Almost every time John Proctor is in the play, he almost ends the girls’ crusade, so they repeatedly have to find ways to stop him. During the trial with Mary Warren, when the girls see the proceedings begin to go Proctor’s way, Abigail wants to draw away the attention of the court and destroy Mary’s credibility. In an extravagant attempt to achieve this, she screams like a crazed banshee, “Why do you come, yellow bird?” and “Mary, please don’t hurt me” (Miller 191). Abigail creates a false, yet believable, sense of fear and suspense in the courthouse, so when she blames Mary, nobody thinks to
Open Document