Corruption and gullibility drove Salem into panic and fear. The Salem Witch Trials were written in the book The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The Crucible is a story about the trials in town called Salem; in this town a group of girls led by Abigail goes to the woods and dances. Abigail’s uncle, Samuel Parris, found them dancing in the woods, which causes the whole town to go into hysteria. The town starts accusing each other of witchcraft. Samuel Parris is a minister that is terrified that the town will throw him out for being associated with witch craft.
He uses his power as minister to gain respect from the town. Abigail is the unofficial leader of the group of girls that were victims of witchcraft, which gave her remarkable power. She uses the power that she has to fulfill her personal vendetta. Judge Danforth is the single most powerful man in Salem due to the trials. He is too infatuated with power to see the truth.
The struggle for power resulted in many people becoming corrupt and single minded. Samuel Parris first denied witchcraft but sided with the idea when he used his power of testifying against the accused enemies to his benefit.
Samuel Parris can be credited in a huge part for the mass hysteria that breaks out in Salem. Parris is the one who calls in Hale and other experts on witchcraft to find a cure for his daughter’s disease. Once the word got out that there were witch hunters in Salem all hell broke loose. During the trials Parris is sure to testify against every defendant leaving no one pure. Parris is so corrupt that when Francis Nurse brings a petition with 91 names on it, a petition to set Rebecca, Goody Proctor, and Martha Corey free Parris demands that all those on the list be called in for questioning.
Parris says “These people should be summoned… This is a clear attack upon the court! ” (Miller 866). He gains power every day the trials continue because people fear him and the wrath he brings in the court room. Parris also attacks Mary Warren harshly when she changes sides to help John Proctor clear his wife’s name. Once Mary claims she fainted at will he tries to make her prove this “Then see no spirits now, and prove to us that you can faint by your own will, as you claim” (Miller 871). He knows that once he has weakened her defense system she will turn on Proctor and he will have ultimate power and no one against him.
Abigail also gained a tremendous amount of power during the Salem witch trials, which she abused to her will and her benefit. Abigail is vengeful, selfish, manipulative, and a magnificent liar. She claims that the only reason she was dancing in the forest was because Tituba bewitched her. She starts accusing everyone in the town of being witches once she is claimed to be a witness. As ringleader, she excites the other girls into a frenzy of emotion, which allows them to condemn the people in the town as witches.
She riles up the entire village’s hatred of witches. She uses her power to condemn Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor, which is the man she loves. Cheever tells Proctor “She testify it were your wife’s familiar spirit pushed it in” (Miller 860). Abigail wants to get revenge on Elizabeth for kicking her out of the house and parting her from her love. She wants to get rid of Elizabeth so she and Proctor can love each other with no restrictions. Abigail rides her power trip out to the end, eventually beating town with all of her uncle’s money.
Danforth was so obsessed with his gain of power during the Salem witch trials that he became single minded and oblivious to his decisions as judge. Danforth rules the courtroom like a dictator. He is an icy character who firmly believes that Abigail Williams and the other girls are incapable of lying. If the young women so much as shout out a name, Danforth assumes the name belongs to a witch. His gullibility is exceeded only by his self-righteousness. If a member of the town tries to defend the accused, Danforth contends that the advocate is trying to overthrow the court.
Danforth says “But you must understand sir that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it. There will be no road between” (Miller 867). Judge Danforth seems to believe that his perception is flawless. He is insulted when anyone questions his decision-making ability, and dominates everyone who enters the court room. When it becomes clear that the allegations of witchcraft are completely false, Danforth refuses to see the truth and hangs innocent people to avoid tarnishing his reputation.
The immense gain of power that Danforth, Abigail, and Parris had due to the witch trials was defectively used for the greater good. Instead they used it for personal gain and accomplishments. Many people in the real world also gain tremendous power in a short period of time. These individuals also abuse the power and become self conceded. One example is the police; they become corrupt in their duty to prevent crime and this hurts the country and the people. There is no real solution to fight corruption and abuse of power, only one who has more power can stop the corruption.
Cite this The Crucible: a Struggle for Power
The Crucible: a Struggle for Power. (2017, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-crucible-a-struggle-for-power/