Crucible Critical Lens
An anonymous source once stated, “When fighting the Dragon, be fearful of becoming the Dragon itself”. This quote means that one’s trepidation of becoming or saying things that one’s contrary to. This quote is true because often times contradiction and hysteria can occur which leads to a change in opinion. The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer equally prove this quote to be true through the use of literary elements or techniques. Characterization and conflict are used in the two works of literature to benefit to prove this quote accurate.
In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the quote is proven true by the use of characterization and conflict. The crucible takes place in Salem, a small town in colonial Massachusetts in the year 1692, during this time the Salem Witch Trials occurs and shows the reader accurately with minor discrepancies how and why the Salem Witch Trials occurred. The Salem Witch Trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. One example that proves this quote true is when Mary Warren states, “I’ll not hang with you! I love God, I love God.” Mary Warren states this when she has accused the girls of lying but can’t prove it, so the pressure by the church officials makes her lie and state that her father made her do the devils work, in which she did not agree to but had no choice. This demonstrates that the quote is true because she not only was fighting the girls which in this instance is the Dragon, but she became the Dragon by lying and telling the church court that the girls were not in fact lying but John Proctor, her father, was making her say these things. She became the Dragon by being what she was fighting against, by lying to the court and becoming one of the girls that accused others of witchcraft. This ultimately led to the death of John Proctor, and the eventual end to the Salem Witch Trials. Another example that proves this quote true is, “Excellency, I have signed 72 death warrants, I am a minister of the lord and I dare not take a life without there be proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.”
To further explain this quote, he signed many death warrants before that Salem Witch Trials occurred on behalf of the lord, with evidence that nobody could doubt that person did not deserve to die. This proves the quote true because he’s fighting “liars” who say they are not with the devil and have never practiced witchcraft, but yet he’s killing innocent people with circumstantial evidence instead of factual evidence. So he has become the Dragon by killing innocent people, which he has worked against the killing of innocent people since he has become a member of the church. Danforth, the judge states “There will be no postponement” proves the quote true because he knows in his conscience that these people are innocent, but doesn’t want to ruin his reputation or name by admitting that he was wrong. This proves that became the Dragon because he’s fighting the Devil in his witchcraft trials, but he becomes the Devil when he knowingly sent innocent people to their death. A literary device that shows the quote to be true is conflict. Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces in a story or play, usually resolved by the end of the work. The conflict may occur within a character as well as between characters or nature. An example of conflict in The Crucible is Proctor against Abigail. When Proctor signs the document saying he was working with the devil, he becomes the Dragon, because the Dragon is Abigail and he becomes her by admitting to witchcraft, thus becoming the Dragon as well. Another literary device used is characterization, what is by which the author(s) present and reveal character. An example of characterization is reverend Parris, when he tries to protect his daughter instead of letting the trial run, he’s killing innocent people to which he stands against. As shown in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, by the use of characterization and conflict it proves this quote true.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer uses both conflict and characterization to prove this quote correct. This novel follows the travels of Chris McCandless also known as Alex Supertramp mostly in the western portion of the United States, as well as in Alaska, Mexico, and Virginia. Chris McCandless, in Alaska, has been struggling with the verge of death which is Dragon at this time, and eventually becomes death thus becoming the Dragon. This uses conflict of man vs. nature and proves the quote true because he became the entity he was fighting against. Chris McCandless was also afraid of society throughout the book and he was fighting to alone, but being alone is what killed him and he needed people more than ever at his desperate time in the bus. This as well uses conflict and proves the quote true because society
was the Dragon but yet couldn’t get away from it even in the western portion of the United States, and he became a society when he lived all by himself and tried to survive. Another literary device used in Into the Wild is Characterization to aid in proving this quote true. One example of characterization is when Chris McCandless fights to get away from his parents but after his death it only brought them closer together. This proves the quote true because he was fighting the parents and to get away from the, which were the Dragon but in the end they only became closer to him and wanted to be with him even more.
An anonymous source once stated “When fighting the Dragon, be fearful of becoming the Dragon itself”. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and The Crucible by Arthur Miller both use characterization and conflict to prove the quote true. This quote is true as proven by these two works of literature. The quote means that one’s trepidation of becoming or saying things that one’s contrary to.