The definition of a crucible is a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development. This applies to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in the fact that the small town of Salem, Massachusetts is changed dramatically when a girl and her friends make accusations against people for practicing witchcraft. Many individuals such as Reverend Hale, Mary Warren, John Proctor, and Elizabeth Proctor were also changed through a series of events.
Yet there were some people who did not change, even after what they went through. Examples of these people are: Parris, Abigail, Deputy Governor Dansforth, and Judge Hathorne. Of all these characters, the individuals that should definitely be examined in deeper detail as to whether or not they changed are Abigail Williams, Reverend Hale, and John Proctor. The first of these poor souls is Abigail Williams. Towards the beginning of the play she was prideful, yet fearful that her name would be ruined if people found out about her and John Proctor’s affair.
She truly shows this feature when she is in Betty’s room and Abigail says in a temper, “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is spoiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar! ” (Miller pg. 12) Abigail remains the same person throughout the entire play, all she wants is John Proctor and all those who could ruin her name dead. This clearly is seen Abigail confronts Proctor in the woods, and she warns him that she will have his wife arrested and charged with witchcraft if he does not go with her.
Poor Abigail Williams did not learn or change at all throughout the entire course of events that occurred. Another unfortunate character is that of Reverend Hale. In the beginning he is just another conformed preacher who believes the girls accusations of witchcraft in the town. This is clearly witnessed when he is trying to rid Betty of the devil, asks the girls who was with the devil when they saw him. Then the girls started rambling off names of people in the town and Hale believed them.
Later in the play, Reverend Hale changes his mind; he goes from believing the girls to not trusting them. This is evident when they accuse John Proctor of witchcraft, and Reverend Hale tries to stop the court from arresting him. At the end of the play Reverend Hale went from a conformed preacher to a free thinking man who can see through the girls’ lies of witchcraft. Reverend hale has without a doubt turned his views for the better. The last of the unlucky people, is John Proctor. He was, in the earlier scenes, a quieter, sort of a stand-offish type of person.
This is seen when he comes to town only to get his servant, Mary Warren, and doesn’t really speak to anyone. Later in the play he starts to change his attitude to more of an assertive and forceful person when his wife is taken when she is accused of witchcraft. It is clearly seen when he goes to the court house to testify, with Marry Warren, against Abigail Williams and the other girls, to prove that they were lying the entire time about the whole witchcraft finger pointing. The piteous Mr. Proctor may have changed, but not as much as he could have.
Throughout this entire book many characters changed and many others have not. Overall, Reverend Hale appears to be the character that changed the most. This is so because he started out as conformed to society in the sense of believing that those accused where actual witches or warlocks. Later though, he did change his thinking and did start to believe people like John Proctor who knew that the girls were lying about all of the accusations of witchcraft and wizardry. All in all, Reverend Hale is that only character that changed the most overall throughout the entire play.
Courtney from Study Moose
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