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The Dynamic Character of Reverend John Hale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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Benjamin Disraeli once said, “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” Humanity is surrounded by change. Whether it is favorable or abominable, change makes an entrance into the daily lives of individuals. Imagine one who wins the lottery. Their entire life turns a corner and they see materialistic happiness waiting for them. They buy a new house or a new car. Early retirement might come next. Slowly, as time passes, their personality changes dramatically. They inherit traits such as cockiness or greediness. All the money in the world belongs in their hands. Eventually, reality catches up to them and they start to lose their valuable possessions. Of course, this is not the case for everyone; however it is a fairly common occurrence in society. Arthur Miller’s controversial play contains some characters who fall victim to various changes which affect their original lifestyle. In The Crucible, Reverend John Hale enters the doors of Salem with a confident urge to find witchcraft, but leaves with the burden of knowing about their corrupt community.
Reverend Hale arrives in Salem, Massachusetts brimming with confidence to help eliminate the Devil. He feels honored that his specialty of witchcraft has finally been called upon. With an ambiance of great knowledge, Hale is strictly determined to accomplish his task at all costs. He eagerly searches for any evidence of witchcraft. Although Hale expresses, “We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are as definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not precede unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of hell upon her” (Miller 44), it is a doubtful covenant since Hale already firmly holds the belief that Sa...


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...ust praise him? Shall the worms declare his truth?” (Miller 146). Hale is unable to grasp how one cannot lie to save their life, even if it were confession to witchery. He will have to spend the rest of his life knowing he was involved in the deaths of innocent people.
The purpose of Mr. Hale’s expedition evolves from searching for witchcraft to searching for truth. As each individual changes, society follows suit. Again, these changes might not always be benevolent; they could be despicable. However, it is irrelevant because both types of adjustments help develop society as a whole. The common saying “learn from your mistakes and move on” can apply to almost any human, even those who make poor decisions when it comes to wealth. Mistakes cause change. As a result of change, development occurs and humanity can better themselves as a benefit for future generations.


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