Arthur Miller’s Use of Conflict to Represent Mass Hysteria in His Play The Crucible

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

Throughout history Mass Hysteria is something that has been destructive within a community and still is. In Aruthur Miller’s play, The Crucible it is based on events that actually happens in Salem Massachusetts witch trials in 1692. Aruther Miller’s play allows us readers to realize the situation that Aruther Miller has put mass hysteria into a puritain society. Throughout his play the people in the play decided by confessing to witchery all people of one person who started the mass hysteria. Also, come mass hysteria came a lot of sin and darkness throughout the story. Through the use of conflict Arthur Miller displays how mass hysteria will affect the community in a negative manner.

Through the story conflict has allowed us to fully understand how mass hysteria can affect a whole community in a negative manner so rapidly and out of nowhere. Conflict arose in Salem which than conflict affected people and the community which than mass hysteria plays a part in too. For example, “There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!”.

This quote allows Hale to demonstrate his mindset of the character and how they are affected by fear and mass hysteria. Its conflict within, Haleś conflict with himself makes him doubt mass hysteria. Its more hysteria than fear though because he doesn’t really fear that he may be accused as a witch but he persuaded by the ̈frightful proofs” heś seen and this has been blinded. The ̈frightful proofs ̈ allows Hale to realize any possible reason for the accusations of witchcraft may be made up. Also, ¨I never had no wife that taken with books, and I thought to find the cause of it, dysee but it were no witch I blamed her for ̈. This quote arose conflict between Giles and the accusers because Giles never intentionally meant to accuse his wife of witchcraft, nor was she committing the crime of witchcraft.

Conflict has allowed us to throughout the story to allow us to understand mass hysteria. For example, “in an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victim and they do testify, the children certainly do testify. As for the witches, none will deny that we are most eager for all their confessions. Therefore, what is left for a lawyer to bring out? I think I have made my point. Have I not?’.

This quote allows Danforth to show us how bad his effect is on the actual belief of witchcraft. Danforth does not believe that these people are trustworthy and involves himself in another conflict of doubt which is who to believe and if what’s going on is real. Throughout the story mass hysteria affects society in a negative way throughout a community because it can infect everyone and make them go insane this was shown through the story using many examples of conflict.


Read more