earnold

The theme that stands out the most to me would be mass hysteria. Mass hysteria is what caused Salem to temporarily fall apart. The Puritans were very strict and religious and the idea that witches could be present within the community drove people to make and believe any accusation. This mass hysteria was based off of a false accusation made by Abigail Williams and is what lead to the downfall of Salem. Everyone dismissed logic and reasoning within their arguments. Hysteria in the crucible becomes increasingly worse because characters like Abigail and Parris benefit from it. It allows for the townspeople to react to anything and give in to their emotions. This causes things like neighbors calling each other witches. Fear drove citizens to do what they needed to protect their best interests. John Proctor recognizes this as he says, “I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem- vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” John is one of the few who knew what Abigail was up too from the start. Here he tells Hale that the people of Salem should put more focus on to who is accusing as opposed to who is being accused. Mass hysteria is dangerous and allows people to think irrationally. Not only is everyone terrified but also now some see the opportunity to manipulate the court for personal gain. Abigail uses mass hysteria to gain control over her community and her peers. The young girls in “The Crucible” are a good example of how mass psychological hysteria can affect a group of people.

Leave a Reply