Individuality in the Crucible

Uniqueness in the Crucible

Individuality versus Conformity in Miller’s The Crucible The theocratic town of Salem, in the late 1600s, not just promoted conformity but stifled uniqueness. The play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, illustrates the dispute between conformity and uniqueness. Salem, a town dependent on the unity and involvement, understandably teaches people from a young age to recognize the needs of the community as higher than the requirements of a person. As any unit requires something to hold it all together, Salem forces unity and social conformity through religion.

Coincidentally, religion in Salem functions as the judicial system too, making it particularly hard for individuals to rebel against the practices of the church. Therefor all members of the community follow the spiritual guidelines. The people reside in fear of the powerful church that prosecutes all dissenters and the danger of hell trigger the neighborhood of blind fans to not alter or advance. Yet as shown in The Crucible, [that] even one brave male can defend modification and lead the community into (IN) a much better instructions.

John Proctor, a formerly unpretentious man, selects to risk his life and fight for change, and even a community so devoted to conformity learns to appreciate him as a person. By examining the common benefits of uniqueness and the faults of conformity in Salem as depicted in The Crucible, we can see that although [the structure of] conformity has value, the absence of appropriate leadership, constrictive (limiting or oppressive would be much better word choices) social pressure, and an uncompromising court system corrupt the conformist program.

A community requires a strong leader to assist the people in the right direction, preserve the worths of the people, and remedy the course of the misdirected. A leader like John Proctor who tries to retrace (backtrack? I do not think that is what you suggest.) the corrupt path of the town. When people like Reverend Parris and Judge Danforth are put in a position of power the system ends up being corrupt. Reverend Parris focuses on his own agenda seeking to control others through his power.

The opening declaration about him states, “he cut an atrocious course” (Miller 3). A bad guy is quite the reverse of the perfect quality of a leader much less a reverend. When disputing his own salary, Reverend Parris describes himself stating: “a minister is not to be so lightly crossed and opposed […] There is just obedience or the church will burn like Hell” (1 30). He imitates a tyrant requiring authority without any defiance and ignoring others opinions no matter the reason or reasoning (of their claims).

On the other side, Judge Danforth intransigently acts so unwilling to make any exceptions to the guidelines that he enables the sentencing of an innocent guy to death for not admitting his alleged regret. Additionally, justice is lost when those who rightfully disagree with the authority do not have the guts to act upon their beliefs and stay quiet in the face of misbehavior. Without a strong foundation, a leader, the community has no instructions. A leader is somebody who acts courageously with [the] stability, uninfluenced by the opinions of the majority yet selflessly acts on the behalf of the people even when unnoticed.

In action to Reverend Parris’s power tirade, John Proctor defies his authority, “I might speak my heart”(1 30). He voices himself versus the reverend on the behalf of freedom of speech. John Proctor, the representative of uniqueness in the play, embodies all of these characteristics of a leader. Conformity stifles liberty and without it there can be no variation among individuals. In Salem individuals dress the exact same, talk the exact same, act the same and follow the same religious beliefs.

Intolerance of variation or unusual habits causes the dispute in Salem. Kids are not all the very same and don’t all think the exact same and when they are forced into lifestyles of their moms and dads or neighborhood often they act out of disobedience. In a society where there is a lot pressure, especially on girls, to preserve a particular social appearances constantly, drains pipes individuals’s spirit. It is reasonable that the girls decide to go out in secret and dance and act silly to release all the pressure put on by society.

When society labels such activities as “abominations” or “vain satisfaction” the girls have no other choice but blame others for their abominable habits out of worry of punishment. If the girls were able to express their own uniqueness or as the people call “vain pleasure,” the women would not feel the requirement to hide their acts in the forest making it seem like their acts are outrageous. In addition with a moderate amount of flexibility for self-expression, the ladies would not feel the very same requirement to rebel and act out in secret.

Basically the women genuinely prefer liberty from judgment. Lastly, uniqueness permits change and development so that a neighborhood can grow and improve. The guidelines and policies of the church need to fit the neighborhood and establish with the community as it grows, not limit its development. Additionally, when individual goes off track it is important to have the capability to change and reroute his course to the proper path. Likewise (? )in the town of Salem, individuals abuse the court system accusing innocent individuals of criminal activity left and ideal leading the courts away from dealing justice.

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  • Quotes From The Crucible John Proctor

Due to the fact that Judge Danforth sees the law as inflexible he is not able to remedy the path of justice. John Proctor rages with the method the court system is running he states that “revenge is strolling is Salem […] little insane kids are jangling the secrets of the kingdom, and common vengeance composes the law. “(2 77). John Proctor points out the corruption of the courts accepting the validity of every allegation of witchcraft. Yet there is nothing that he can do about it due to the inflexibility of the law.

The benefits of leadership, freedom, and change, concepts of individuality eclipse the benefits of structure supplied by conformity. In contrast, [the] selfish wrong management, constraint of individual expression, and stiff intolerant law triggered by conformist routine lead to the death sentencing of innocent people. If the town of Salem welcomed the benefits of the people as individuals, it could have prevented the terrible occurrences of the witch trials. Work Pointed Out Miller, Arthur. The Crucible (Penguin Classics). New York: Penguin Classics, 2003.