The Crucible Essay
In his play, The Crucible, Arthur Miller expresses his disillusionment towards the American government during the Red Scare in the 1950’s. Rather than attack the Red Scare directly, he uses the Salem witch trials as an analogy to show the hysteria and corruption at work during the 17th and 20th centuries. This hysteria and corruption that arises out of the witch-hunts affects the entire village of Salem. When newcomer Reverend Hale is called to Salem to investigate the accusations, he also becomes entangled in this web of confusion and misrepresentation. Over the course of the play, Hale changes significantly and ultimately reconsiders his involvement in Salem’s with trials.
When we first meet Reverend Hale we learn that he is called to Salem to discover if there is witchcraft going on because he is an expert in the field. Reverend Hale feels “The pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for” (31). Reverend Hale is determined and focus because once he is sent on his first mission it is his most important. Reverend Hale believes in the importance of prosecuting witches because they are connected with the devil. “His goal is light, goodness and its preservation,” and he feels that he has been “called upon to face what may be a bloody fight with the Fiend himself”(34). When Hale arrives to Reverend Parris house to see what’s wrong with Betty, he looks for signs of the devil’s work. Hale examines Betty and ask her “Does someone afflict you, child? It need not to be a woman, mind you, or a man. Perhaps some bird invisible to others comes to you—perhaps a pig, a mouse, or any beast at all. Is there some figure bids you fly?” (39). Betty does not answer and he looks over to Abigail; he asks her about the kind of dancing they were doing in the forest. Abigail then accuses Tituba of witchcraft because it is easier for her to place the blame on a slave who...