The Crucible: Hysteria and Injustice

Thesis Statement:

The purpose is to educate and display to the reader the hysteria and
injustice that can come from a group of people that thinks it\'s doing the
"right" thing for society in relation to The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

I. Introduction:

The play is based on the real life witch hunts that occurred in the late
1600\'s in Salem, Massachusetts. It shows the people\'s fear of what they felt
was the Devil\'s work and shows how a small group of powerful people wrongly
accused and killed many people out of this fear and ignorance. Also important
to the play is how Arthur Miller depicts how one selfish, evil person like
Abigail Williams can bring others down and make others follow her to commit evil
acts. These evil acts affect even the most honest people in the town like John
and Elizabeth Proctor, and Rebecca Nurse who cannot fight the accusations made
against them by those following Abigail. Those following Abigail are considered
to be holy men that are full of honesty and justice, but the play shows that
even those who are thought to be respectable and right, like people of
government or community leaders can bring death to innocent people if they are
driven by something wrong.

II. Plot:

The plot begins with the inciting incident where Rev. Parris finds his
niece Abigail Williams and his daughter Betty along with his slave Tituba doing
some dance in the forest. Right when he finds them, Betty becomes sick and
won\'t talk or open her eyes, about this time other people\'s daughters become
sick too. Rumors spread that witch craft is involved in Betty\'s illness and the
development of the plot begins. Important to the major development of the plot
is the fact that in the forest, Abigail and the others were just playing like
witches. But they were following Abigail because she wanted to try to put a
curse on a lady named Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail was in love with Mrs.
Proctor\'s husband, John Proctor, and she wanted to some how get rid of Elizabeth.
The problem was that as the rumors spread about the devil Abigail went along
with it and blamed the slave woman Tituba for forcing her to join the devil.
The rising action begins when Tituba out of fear of death starts naming people
that she says were with the devil when the devil came to her. This is all a lie
though because once Abigail blamed Tituba she did not want to turn the story
around and admit that she was lying in the first place because one, she was
afraid of the consequences of such a strong lie, and two, because she saw it as
an opportunity to get rid of Elizabeth Proctor.
The people of the town made everything worse when they tried hard to
find out who was teaming up with the devil. It was easier for them to blame the
devil for their problems of society than fix the problems of their own strict
way of life. So the girls involved with Abigail, like Mercy Lewis and Mary
Warren named many people of the town as witches. These people were put and jail
and would be hanged if they did not confess to the crime of devil worship or
witch craft. Another part of the developing plot is that John Proctor knows
Abigail and her friends are lying, but he is afraid to say any thing because
eight months before he had and affair with Abigail and did not want to be seen
by the town as a lecher, which means wife cheater. So, Mr. Proctor has to fight
with himself to come out and tell the truth or his wife might die because of
Abigail saying she was a witch.
The climax of the play is in the court room when John Proctor and Mary
Warren finally say that Abigail is lying and nobody was doing witch craft. But
Abigail is a good actor and liar and actually turns it around on Mr. Proctor and
says he tries to get every one to worship the devil. The court finds him guilty
of devil worship and wants to hang him if he does not confess. The falling
action of the play comes when Rev. Parris comes to court three months later and
says that Abigail has stolen all his money and has left town and he feels guilty
for the people who were accused by her and hung because of it. The court does
not want to admit they were wrong though because they