Power can lead to many things, but unfortunately, in people it usually leads to something bad. Throughout history, power has led to some of the most violent actions imaginable. In the town of Salem, people experienced this for themselves. The society of Salem in The Crucible shows how power can cause rational people to do horrible things to get power, which leads to mass hysteria and eventually the executions of innocent people.
Abigail Williams is in a power struggle with John Proctor.
This is the strongest move for power in this story. Abigail uses her previous relationship with John to force him to be with her again. We see this in the beginning of the story as Abby tells him how he “sweated like a stallion”(1222) for her. Although John admits to this, he pushes her back and tells her I will cut off my hand before Ill ever reach for you again (1222). Then later in the story, Abby makes threats to claim John’s wife has seen the Devil.
She eventually does, and this ends up bringing John and Elizabeth to jail.
Thomas Putnam is in a power struggle with the Nurse and Proctor families. This happens because Mr. Putnam believes his father left property to him, but John Proctor claims the property was actually, his but Thomas Putnam replies, “He had no right to sell it. It stands clear in my grandfather’s will then all the land between the rivers… (1228).The Nurse Family sold the property to the Proctors.
This makes the proctors in the power struggle between the Putnams and these other families. The Putnam’s daughter was one of the children who started calling out names of people who had supposedly seen the Devil with the people she called out being in a power struggle with her parents.
Reverend Parris is in a power struggle with his community. It started with his golden candlesticks as said by John Proctor Parris came, and for twenty week he preach nothin’ but golden candlesticks until he had them. (1237) Then it seems that he is trying to get respect as he is seen saying, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish (1219). Reverand Parris even acknowledges that the thinks the people are against him when he says There is a party in this church; I am not blind; there is a faction and a party. (1221). Then later in the story he is carried away with his new power from the court and tries to deny John Proctors petition by demanding all the people be questioned, which shows the power has gone to his head.
In conclusion it is easy to see how in this story power and land change people. Whether it be Thomas Putnam and his obsession for land, Abigail and her revenge against John Proctor, or a corrupt minister like reverend Parris. You can also see how the court is supposed to serve justice but instead it does the opposite and is used to get revenge. This story demonstrates how power can cause rational people to do horrible things to get power, and in this story lead to the death of innocent people, all in the pursuit for power.