Theme Of Selfishness In The Crucible

Since the beginning of time, humans have been generally selfish people. When put in dangerous situations, the human race tends to be selfish, as in that moment all that matters is surviving. However, this selfishness can result in immoral decisions, potentially hurting others as a result of these selfish decisions. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, selfishness plays a key role as to why innocents are put to their deaths because of other people’s desire to prosper in society. The characters in the story are able to put their morals aside, and create false accusations putting others in danger for their own benefit. For these characters, specific troubling situations they become stuck in spark that longing to create false accusations to save …show more content…
As a black member in society, Tituba was looked down upon, so she was regarded as an easy target when it came to witchcraft. When Tituba was accused of witchcraft, she began to be whipped and threatened by Parris, and this caused a big scene in the town of Salem, fueling the hysteria. Parris said that if Tituba does not confess to witchcraft, she will be whipped and hanged and therefore, Tituba confesses because she fears what the consequences will be if she does not. “No, no, don’t hang Tituba! I tell him I don’t desire to work for him, sir” (Miller 44). This quote shows how even though Tituba was not a witch, her fear of punishment resulted in a false confession. Tituba was willing to give up her integrity because of this constant fear of being punished. This fear of punishment also led Tituba to accuse other people of witchcraft. “And I look—And there was Goody Good…Aye, sir, and Goody Osburn” (Miller 47). After Tituba confessed to witchcraft, she then accused Sarah Good and Goody Osburn, as she would no longer have this fear of punishment because accusing others would mean that they would take the fall instead. Though these women were innocent, Tituba’s fear of punishment lead her to be immoral and accuse these women of witchcraft which …show more content…
Because the people of Salem respected Parris, he was easily able to persuade people to believe in what he does. Therefore, he takes advantage of that power to switch his beliefs of witchcraft whenever he feels it will make him look worthy, ultimately keeping that power he corruptly possesses. At first, Parris used his power to convince the townspeople that witchcraft is not real in order to protect his place in society by stating that, "We cannot leap to witchcraft. They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house” (Miller 14). This quote shows that at the beginning of the story, believing in witchcraft would make one seem corrupt. Because Parris did not want to be seen as corrupt, he chose to tell the townspeople that he did not believe in witchcraft, whether he believed that or not himself. However, Parris was able to quickly change his views of witchcraft, claiming to believe in it when Tituba was allegedly accused. While accusing Tituba, Paris states, "You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!" (Miller 44). This quote shows how rapidly Parris was able to change his views of witchcraft when it came to using his power, because in the beginning of the story, Parris had no desire to give into witchcraft.

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