Puritanism VS. Fear
Fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain. The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, depicts a time of mass hysteria, unanticipated accusations, and unjust executions, all caused by one thing, fear. This feeling, present in everyone’s life at some point, is more influential then one might think. It was the hamster-in-the-wheel of their minds, controlling their logic thinking and forcing them to act upon their emotions.
Reverend Parris is a preeminent example of fear in The Crucible, for most of his actions are motivated by fear. He is frightened that Abigail and the girls mischief will become common knowledge to the public for “there is a faction that is sworn to drive me [Reverend Parris] from my pulpit.” Towards the end of the play, tension builds as Proctor nears his execution, causing Parris to realize what a weighty decision has been made, how “these people have great weight yet in the town.” He then begs for Proctor to confess to witchcraft, not for the guilt he’ll have taking a man’s life from his family, but for concern of his own safety.
Despite the many good-for-nothing attempts by the court to keep the community under control, hysteria arose and spread like wild fire, all due to the fright they had that they were soon to “mount the gibbet”. Being a slave and of lower social status, Tituba was accused by Abigail in order to avoid any punishment or responsibility. With all attention drawn on her, Tituba was frightened into making false accusations. The fear Abigail and the girls had that they would be punished for their mischief forced them to act rashly in order to be saved. Soon after, they realized naming people who supposedly “came with the Devil” would save them from punishment so they shouted “I saw Goody Hawkins….Goody Bibber….Goody Good with the Devil!” Thus proving that in the heat of the moment, logical thinking is overpowered by fear and results in absentminded behavior....