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The Subjective Truth

  • Date Submitted: 01/04/2012 05:20 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.3 
  • Words: 756
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During the 1960s, the United States Senator Joseph McCarthy used his power in the government to accuse and jail citizens who he suspected were Communist, a big crime at the time. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible to reflect his critical views of McCarthy’s actions in office. In his drama, Miller uses a similar scenario to the Red Scare by developing characters who charge one another of the feared crime of witchcraft and ignore the evidence laid before them. Miller uses The Crucible to show that when people only believe what they want, truth becomes irrelevant. When the characters in The Crucible begin to ignore truth, the town of Salem slowly sinks into a state of chaos.
In The Crucible, the corruption of trust in Salem begins with the Puritans’ belief in witchcraft and their desire to rid the town of all witches. Anyone who is accused of witchcraft is put on trial and is always sentenced to hang unless they falsely confess. Many people in Salem take advantage of this corruption for their own personal gain. The reader learns that Abigail Williams takes advantage of the people’s bad judgment of the truth when Mr. Cheever says: “Why, Abigail Williams charge her” (73). The reader knows that Abigail hates Elizabeth Proctor because she is John’s wife. It is inferred that she lies and accuses Goody Proctor of witchcraft so she may be hanged and Abigail can have John for herself. The truth has no meaning in this action because the judges ignore their common sense and use their belief in witches to condemn anyone they can. Because the judges choose to believe only testimonies by “witnesses” or circumstantial evidence, many innocent people are hanged or put in jail.
The sense of truth is further strained when the judges choose to listen only to the accusers. When Abigail accuses Elizabeth of stabbing her through the use of a poppet, Mary testifies by saying that she made the poppet and stuck the needle in herself, but the judges still arrest Mrs. Proctor.   Later, Mary...

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