The Consequences Of Hysteria In The Crucible, By Arthur Miller

1397 Words 6 Pages
Relationships, between individuals, and between individuals and the society they live in, form the basis of humanity. They allow understanding of the people and the events taking place within that society and that time period. They allow understanding of humanity itself, no matter how people act. Sometimes, these relationships lead to trouble. Hysteria is an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, in this case shared by the entire society. Started by numerous individual conflicts, it can bring to light problems within the society. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a powerful tool in demonstrating to modern society just how easy it is for an individual to generate hysteria and for the rest of society to follow it. Conditions in a society …show more content…
In the Crucible, Abigail names Tituba but the event is truly catalyzed as Tituba says, “And there was Goody Good…Aye, sir, and Goody Osburn” (Miller 47). This is followed by an explosion of panic. Mob mentality comes into play here, as the confusion and panic is multiplied by each new person and greater anonymity exists for the girls in their naming if they are a part of a group. First Abigail Williams says, “I want to open myself! I want the light of God”, and all the other girls follow with more names and screaming (Miller 48). Even those with no reason to feel confused and scared panic, spreading the violence. The hysteria continues to worsen, in Salem, with the number of people in jail. There is no one tending the fields and homes, as described by Reverend Hale, “Excellency, there are orphans wandering from house to house; abandoned cattle bellow on the highroads…and you wonder yet if rebellion’s spoke?” (Miller 130). Due to this lack of order, the rules of daily life are suspended. Anything goes and no system or government is watching to punish you. This can happen in modern society as people in war zones are far from their normal customs and start to lose their normal lives. People stop maintaining any sense of normality, described by John Proctor in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, “The world is gone …show more content…
Conditions of fear and anger in a society allow it to take hold and the power of a group means that only one individual must ignite the panic. People are tragically controlled by the emotions of a hysteria, although some find ways to utilize it for their own desires. The play serves as a warning and message to look at the similar conditions for hysteria within our own society and recognize when those conditions arise. We can see how people begin to think without reason and be governed by their emotions. We can try to learn how to stop that, and by extension prevent further tragedies and loss of life similar to what occurred in Salem. Through understanding this specific example of hysteria, we can understand and control that human impulse as it arrives now in our current society. Humans are undoubtedly proven to be irrational, but if we can learn to understand that irrationality we can control it better than we have in the

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