Remount yourself to 1692, to a small town in Massachusetts, USA, called Salem. Imagine all you believe is dictated by lies, weak arguments and evilness. Imagine you are accused of witchcraft and the town that saw you grow up, the town where your dreams and hopes where born, turns the back on you. Imagine, just for a moment, on having the power to decide people’s death, by just accusing them of something they’ve never done. Imagine the ambition growing inside you. Imagine, being Abigail for a second, Was what she did justifiable?
Is ambition stronger than a person’s moral convictions and principles? Do you rather have one innocent person die than watch ten suspected witches having their lives ended because of a misjudgment and false accusations? The line between truth and dishonesty is so thin and easily corrupted, sometimes people cannot see the difference, with an inaccurate and distorted vision of truth and reality, people can make huge mistakes, and be certain that what they’re doing is right. How can you know if you’re doing the right thing.
Conscience doesn’t always speak loud enough for you to hear. It doesn’t always show you the right way to go, sometimes, just as a result of following the crowd; you can make horrible mistakes, terminating the life of people that do not deserve it. This is exactly what happened in Salem, the town that inspired the novel The Crucible, where every person in town ended believing in the bad intentioned accusations Abigail Williams made, this girl was so intelligent, she convinced the people around her of her version of the truth and twisted the facts and history for her own convenience.
Therefore, truth is distorted. Truth goes hand in hand with justice; justice is made by doing the right thing, following the truth. If the truth becomes indistinct, justice can easily be applied to the wrong people. “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it… ” (Act III) Here, Proctor makes his last attempt on saving his wife’s life.
This is a desperate seek for the real justice, based on the real truth. Sometimes, one cannot prove that one is telling the truth, and the impotent feeling urges your soul for the rest of your days. Justice is based also on our believes, on what we believe is the truth, by not having enough bases and proofs to make a fair trial, people seeked for they’re believes, a dogmatic truth. “A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face and yours, Danforth!
For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud- God damns our kind especially and we will burn, we will burn together! ” (Act III) Proctor answering Mary Warren’s petition to help her save her life, he suddenly sees himself condemned for believing what is real and not being heard or noticed. All these people who found themselves in the same position as Proctor are faith defendants of innocence, but it was so hard back then to prove your innocence, I mean,
How could you prove the opposite of an accusation if, your accusation had no more evidence than the words of a perturbed girl? “I speak to my own sins; I cannot judge another. I have no tongue for it. ” John Proctor, being innocent of all accusations, in order to save his life, confesses witchcraft, yet refuses to accuse anyone else to maintain his freedom and innocence. He knows he’s innocent, he knows he’s fallen into Abigail’s trap, but he will not play her game, he refuses to make false and not proved accusations.
The word for his actions is loyalty. He is loyal to his beliefs, loyal to his beloved. He feels a certain loyalty also towards the truth. Even in his moments of pure desperation and desolation, he doesn’t leave his honor and loyalty aside. “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up.
” (Act IV) Here, reverend Hale is attempting to make Elizabeth Proctor convince her husband to confess of witchcraft, trying to save more lives. In other words, he is telling her to be loyal to her beliefs, but to do all it takes to stay alive. See how, because of Abigail’s appalling dishonesty, people must leave aside they’re beliefs, sense of truth and anger and impotent feelings? The sense of betrayal leading to punishment has also to do with my thesis at the beginning. Betrayal is what Abigail practices with everybody she wishes.
Her soul is so full of evil that she has no remorse or whatsoever when accusing. This makes all the supposed witches innocent and free of proofs that may say the opposite. When, weaker than her, Abigail’s friends and accomplices in her sins hesitate on they’re actions, Abigail threatens them and punishes they’re minds and thoughts. Everyone is so terrified of her; she has got all the power to herself. “And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.
And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dead parent’s heads on the pillow next to mine and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you have never seen the sun go down! ” (Act I) She is secretly admitting her betrayal, her evilness, but she will not stop, or surrender, or hesitate about her decisions. By all of the above I can prove that, because of the loss of sense of truth and proofs to make a proper trial and sentence, it is preferable to let one innocent person die than to assassinate ten supposed witches.
Ten souls full of resentment, anger, impotence. Quiet mouths screaming in pain to themselves, silent minds stormed with thoughts, not being able to prove they’re innocence. i?? Must ten accused of witchcraft be murdered because of a flaw of society? Because the crowd decided to believe in something as mean as lies and obscurity? It is relevant to point out how people, in order not to be accused of different can act in an irrational way.
What we can do now is simply to question ourselves constantly our beliefs, our senses of truth, our moral convictions, because there’s only one person needed to scatter sinfulness and amorality to convert a whole town, to disturb and distort entire generations, entire villages, entire countries. And you can some day find yourself in the position of the town people, Will you fall into Abigail’s death trap? Will you stand up for what you think is right? It is entirely up to you, one person can make the difference, even if he or she dies attempting.