Fear And Hysteria In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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It’s the end of the world, the ground is shaking, and someone’s house is collapsing! What would that person do? This exemplifies an atmosphere of intense fear and hysteria, which leads to many life and death decisions. People make tough choices in dreadful situations that they would not normally do; sometimes for self gain, and other times for the sake of others. Situations similar to this include fictional events like the movie 2012, or even events in history, such as the Great Fear during the French Revolution. During the Great Fear, all wealthy people or supporters of the French government were at risk of getting killed for the unimportant reason of revolution. This created an exuberant fear in society that was rooted in a fallacious and …show more content…
These types of actions contribute to the end of the Salem Witch Trials as well. Throughout The Crucible, John Proctor speaks his mind, even if it goes against public belief or if it antagonizes himself. When Abigail starts lying in the court and everyone starts believing her, Proctor bluntly yells, ‘“How do you call Heaven! Whore! Whore!...It is a whore!”’ (Miller III). Proctor does not care how he affects everyone else’s opinion on him when he says provocative statements. This is a meager attempt to ruin Abigail’s reputation which would in turn lead everyone to stop believing Abigail. When unfairness arises in the primitive Salem society, Proctor calls it out and fights it, in order to make what is wrong, right. Since he was infuriated that his friends were in jail and about to get hung, Proctor selflessly confesses to a Godless sin in court to prove that Abigail is not the saint everyone believes her to be. Proctor, trembling, exclaimed “‘I have known her, sir. I have known her.’”(Miller Act III). Essentially, Proctor sacrifices himself to save others, and this is a trait of a hero. He is confessing to lechery, and this is a sin punishable by hanging. Proctor assists in putting an end to the Salem Witch Trials by clearing his conscience of the deathly deed he committed years ago, while at the same time alienating Abigail so people dislike her and don’t believe her lies. Proctor decides not to confess to witchcraft and finally realizes, ‘“I am John Proctor! You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me!...I have three children - how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?”’(Miller Act IV). This moment of realization indicates that Proctor has discovered the inner goodness inside of him and finally knows that he must listen to his heart, and save the accused with his death.

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