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The Themes Of Deception, Truth, And Hysteria In Th Essay, Research Paper

The play The Crucible by Arthur Miller is written as an allegory. Every character in the play stands for a separate characteristic in society. Three characteristics that are extremely profound throughout The Crucible are deception, truth, and hysteria. The character who represents deception is Abigail. In the beginning of the play, she tells Parris that they were not conjuring the Devil, but that they were just dancing. The minute that Parris leaves, Abigail admits that they were conjuring the Devil and threatens the other girls not to tell the truth. Abigail is also deceiving when she accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch. She twists the truth to make it look like Elizabeth caused her to become ill when she plotted her arrest in advance. Abigail let deception to control and overcome her life because deception is such an addictive force. Reverend Hale is a character that is also part of Miller+s allegory. Throughout the play Hale is only interested in seeking the truth. He allows the truth to be told by being just. Hale knows the truth when Elizabeth is arrested, but because he does not have the authority that the court does, he is unable to prove the truth that Elizabeth is innocent. Hale throughout the play has faith in the honesty of Proctor or in the truth. In Act III when John Proctor only accuses Abigail, Hale understands that Proctor did this even though he risks his reputation, which is the truth. Hale again shows the characteristic of truth when in the court room he states, |I cannot say that he is an honest man; I know him little. But in all justice,sir, a claim so weighty cannot be argued by a farmer. In God+s name, sir, stop here; send him home and let him come again with a lawyer.X Hale demonstrates his justice for mankind. He understands justice is a direct path to truth because people will then put their trust in him. Proctor also shows in the play that he is a character of truth when he confesses to being a lecher. Being a character of nobility and much truth sets high standards that lead to a struggle with always being honest. Hale is a character of much truth, but not of nobility. Hale is interested in the truth, but he does not have the courage to put his truth to work. Hale does not put his truth to work because he is afraid of authority.

Continuing with Miller+s theme of an allegory, there are several characters who represent hysteria. The characters that best shows hysteria are the girls, especially Betty Parris. The girls are in hysteria because they were accused of conjuring with the Devil. The main cause of this hysteria is Abigail. They are so frightened that Abigail will do something awful to them if they do not obey her. Betty is in such great hysteria because she is in shock over being caught dancing in the woods by her father. Betty represents hysteria when she attempts to fly out the window and see her mother. Even the whole community is in a state of hysteria. The community+s cause for hysteria is witchcraft. The community used witchcraft as a scapegoat for their problems, but it eventually overwhelmed them and became uncontrollable. The struggle is not left by hysteria; it comes before it. The struggle is to be strong before hysteria gets controlling. The result of hysteria in the town of Salem was very unfortunate because it cost the lives of many. Whether the characteristics are honorable or shameful they all have consequences and struggles. Miller does an excellent job in portraying common characteristics in society through the characters of The Crucible.


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