Hypocrisy In Salem And The Crucible

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To what extent does hypocrisy affect society? Hypocrisy is normally seen as a personal issue and it’s societal impacts are often overlooked. During the Salem witch trials, hypocrisy played a huge role in the hangings of 19 people. It created mass hysteria, which deeply affected how Salem’s societal values were interpreted. Hypocrisy is ultimately responsible for the events in Salem and The Crucible, as characters try to cover up their own flaws with lies, leading to innocent people being hanged and killed. In Salem, most characters have flaws about them that they do not want exposed to society. After Abigail claimed to have told Reverend Parris everything, Betty disagrees; “Betty. You drank blood, Abby! You didn’t tell him that! Abigail. …show more content…
No, no, Abby. That’s done with.” (I.525-529).
Through this conversation, the reader begins to understand what happened between Abigail and Proctor: they had an affair. This conflict is a major part of the plot as Abigail’s desire to continue seeing Proctor is what eventually causes her to make the claims she does. This is hypocritical, as Proctor is one of the most respected beings in the city of Salem. Having committed a sin, he has acted against societal values, which he would not want revealed. The flaws that character in The Crucible have create conflict, eventually leading to much more issues when these flaws try to get covered
…show more content…
When Proctor and Elizabeth have their meeting in the prison, Elizabeth explains what has happened to other prisoners; “Giles is dead… He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they’d hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law”(IV.559-568). Giles could have prevented being wrongly killed by just lying and admitting to witchcraft, but by not speaking he retained his land and Christian values. For this, he went on to remain a well-respected figure in Salem. Hypocrisy is shown as this, as Salem went against basic American values, killing Giles before he was proven guilty. Later on in their meeting, Proctor is contemplating whether or not he should lie and confess; “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man” (IV.604-606). Proctor knows that unlike most of the other people who have gotten hanged, his is not completely innocent. He is somewhat responsible for all of the witch trials; if he wouldn’t of committed adultery with Abigail, she wouldn’t have gone on her rampage of blaming people. Proctor claims everyone else to be innocent, saying they deserve to be a saint. This is hypocritical because them being saints shows they were heroic in trying to prove the illegitimacy of the court. They were not guilty, but would not give in in order to save themselves. The hypocrisy in Salem was so

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