In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, justice and injustice is portrayed through the characters of John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams. It is also shown through the minor characters of Mary Warren and Mercy Lewis, followers of Abigail Williams, and through Danforth and various townspeople.
After Abigail Williams and the girls are discovered dancing in the forest by Reverend Parris, there are rumours of witchcraft among them, when Betty Parris and Ruth Putnam are found "witched". Once the girls discover this, they become more and more frightened of being accused of witchcraft. Abigail is the first to "admit" to seeing the devil, and all the other girls join in, so the blame will not be placed on them. "I saw Sarah Good with the Devil. I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil. I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil."
Once the accusations began, many innocent people in the community were taken away. They were then either forced to admit that they were witches, to free themselves from a public hanging, or deny that they were witches, saving their integrity, but subjecting themselves to an unjust public hanging.
One of the first people to be charged, was Rebecca Nurse, wife of Francis Nurse, a well-respected man of the community. This disturbance caused great anxiety amongst the people in Salem, as they would have least suspected Rebecca Nurse to be one to deal with the Devil. "If Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing's left to stop the whole green world from burning." Goody Putnam was the one to accuse her of witchcraft, for the death of her seven babies, but even with no just proof, Rebecca Nurse is hanged for "sending her spirit out on them."
Wild accusations ar...
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... name!" He knew that he could not deal with being seen as a witch in the eyes of the community, and preferred to keep the honour of his name, his loyalty to himself and most of all, his personal integrity. Elizabeth Proctor realised the meaning of his name to him, realising that his name was all he had left to keep him whole. "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!"
The Crucible mocks the way society deals with justice. Salem is torn apart, due to the extent of Abigail's imagination and power. It shows the bias of opinions, as it was shown in the court, and how people tend to choose outcomes that suit them. In the end, injustice thrived upon the souls of the community, leaving many innocent people dead. Justice did not prevail, as the heart behind the case, John Proctor preferred to keep his self-respect and integrity, than live a life of lies.
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