Human Weaknesses In The Crucible

One of the most prominent human weaknesses that is revealed when conflict arises between the individual and the collective is fear. Arthur Miller explores human weakness caused by fear in his play The Crucible through false accusations and writes about this weakness in his article “Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist’s Answer to Politics.” Patrick Henry also addresses fear in individuals that arise from struggles with the collective in his speech “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death (1775).” Ultimately, these texts all address the fear of being different, which drives people to match their beliefs with the beliefs of the collective, because those who do not conform to the norms of the collective receive differential and unequal treatment, thus suggesting that people who have different beliefs or practices from the majority tend to be silenced since it is difficult for them to overcome the collective’s discrimination against them. In The Crucible, how fear forces individuals to comply with the collective’s standards and beliefs are displayed through the characters’ struggles with their moral values and the belief of witchcraft in the community. When John Proctor demands that Mary Warren proves that Elizabeth Proctor is innocent by revealing that Abigail Williams stuck the needle in herself, Mary Warren protests, saying, “I cannot, they’ll turn on me—” (80). Even though Mary does not want Elizabeth to be hanged and knows that the spirits that Abigail and her friends claim to

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