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Crucible - Histeria vs. Reason

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Introduction

In The Crucible, Miller vividly creates a terrifying world where superstition and hysteria blinds the people of Salem, preventing them from seeing reason or using common sense. They fear the threat of witchcraft so much, they are unable to see the reality of the situation; a group of young girls pretending, leading adults to believe their actions, acting and accusations, all of which had murderous consequences. In the opening of the play, we learn that a group of young girls were discovered dancing in the forest, in an act that appeared to be linked with witchcraft, especially find no medical reason for the girl's condition, they must now "look to unnatural things" (pg 7). ...read more.

Middle

Here, they have not used common sense, ignoring the possibility that perhaps the girls feared the consequences of their actions in the forest, the fact that they were young girls playing, not calling the devil. Furthermore, the arrival of Reverend Hale does little to restore common sense and reason among the people of Salem. Upon his arrival, his reputation as an expert in witchcraft is quickly circulated, fueling the people's fears that the devil is indeed among them. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Parris nor the Putnams, do not listen to reason. Also and most ironically, upon Hale's arrival he meets Rebecca and declares her to "look as such a good soul should." He has also heard of her good reputation and "great charities" (pg 30) but he quickly forgets this when she is accused of witchcraft. This is a clear indication of how the people of Salem's fear of superstition over took logic and reason. From here, it is evident that Rebecca Nurse is the epitome of a good Christian woman. However, her Godly reputation and good nature did not protect her from the vicious accusation of witchcraft as it did not with many other innocent good Christains. ...read more.

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