Mass Hysteria Or Massive Greed Essay

Mass Hysteria Or Massive Greed Essay

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Mass Hysteria or Massive Greed
1692, mass hysteria and paranoia fogs over a small town in Massachusetts. A tale of greed, scapegoating and fear of the unknown leads to devastation and death. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible makes the effects of scapegoating, hysteria, paranoia, and greed evident through the actions of Tituba, Parris, the girls and other townspeople. Miller uses the hysteria as a way to validate the ignorance and gullibility of Salems townspeople.
A black slave from Barbados,Tituba, states that her “slave sense has warned her that, as always, trouble in this house eventually lands on her back” (8). As a black woman who lives in a never ending subordinate position, her instincts tell her to prepare herself so that once again she is not the first to feel blame. When accused of wrongdoing Abigail immediately attempts to take all of the blame off her and place it onto an easy scapegoat, “I never called him! Tituba, Tituba…” -Abigail(40). However, Tituba is not the only character to fall victim of false accusation. John Proctor, father of two, adulterer, and farmer, convinces servant, Mary Warren, to confess her lies about her seeing the Devil. Mary Warren goes before the tribunal as spectral evidence against Abigail and the other girls that were dancing in the woods. However, Abigail and the town girls begin to imitate Mary’s every word as an act of witchcraft, Mary pleads for her to stop. After Mary realizes that she is not believed, John Proctor becomes an easy scapegoat, “ Mary- Don’t touch me- don’t touch me! Proctor- Mary! Mary- You’re the Devil’s Man!” (110). The Salem Witch Trials may not be a part of history today without the use of finger-pointing, and greed, which ultimately led ...


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...craft and Communism. He stubbornly refused their allegations and continued with his idea, arguing the point of how witchcraft did exist, proven by the death of two hundred thousand.
A signature of your name, ultimately bequeaths your life. Even though thousands of men and women sold their name, the few who grasp on to their pride share their ultimate fate with John Proctor, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(133). Arthur Miller describes a beautiful allegory of past and present through literary themes of scapegoating, greed and hysteria. Miller also introduces an interesting parallel of human ethics, if you lie you live, but tell the truth and you will hang.

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