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The Crucible and Nazi Germany
Arthur Miller's portrayal of Salem, Massachusetts can be juxtaposed with Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. While the motivations differ, societal similarities exist and both teach us that when a whole society of people have a fear so great that it can be used against them, the society will try to do anything and everything in their power to prevent this from happening. Even when the means of prevention involves innocent people dieing and the judiciary system becoming corrupt, the society will act upon this fear of wickedness and the devil.
When one group or individual has so much power and influence to lead or sentence someone to death, then there is something to worry about. In The Crucible, Abigail has the quality of speaking and always being heard, "I saw Goody Sibber with the Devil!"(Miller 48) After she says this, Thomas Putnam immediately calls the marshal to hand out warrants to the accused. A functional society can't exist without a balance in power.
Even in today's society, there is a balance in power to keep the country calm. If the president had all the power, then he would be able to pass whatever ludicrous laws he wanted and basically do anything to benefit himself. Abigail had enough power, not to pass laws, but to testify and decide who should receive a warrant for witchery. When a little, irresponsible, whore of a girl has enough power to do this, she will definitely take advantage of it, and she did.
Reverend John Hale also believes that the chaos in Salem can be directed towards Abigail as he said in Act II, "The world goes mad, and it profit nothing you should lay the cause to the vengeance of a little girl."(79)
Throughout time, history has proven that through conflict and poor living conditions, it can be quite simple and painless to put all the blame on someone. Adolf Hitler was able to blame people such as the Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, mentally ill, etc. This seemed like an easy answer. All the problems in the world were the result of these types of people. Once Hitler was able to persuade the majority of Germany that this racist thought was true and that they should be afraid and very concerned about being taken over by these people.
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Whether the date was 1692 or 1940, and whether 19 people died, or eleven million people died, the actions and event would not have occurred had there been a balance of power and not such an emphasis on what could happen, but what does happen. All of the "what could happen" phrases were people's fears. Either fear of being damned with the devil for eternity or fear of being overtaken by Jews. In any case, the society had people killed because some people had too much power, some people didn't have enough power, and with this power came false accusations. These false accusations lead to the deaths in Salem, Massachusetts and throughout Germany. Either way you look through the looking glass, you will see the same pattern throughout. Had there been a stability and balance of power, the leaders like Abigail and Hitler throughout history would not have committed such atrocious acts for the reason that no one would follow their ideas since they lack authority or control.