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Crucible: Modern Day Witch Hunt

Essay by   •  June 13, 2012  •  Book/Movie Report  •  769 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,602 Views

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Witch Hunts

Old school and modern day witch hunts, they both come from the same place, and do the same things, and have the same effects. They both cause problems in society and between families and friends. The witch hunt in The Crucible is similar to the steroid witch hunt, in professional sports, because both are fueled by lies, faulty evidence, and mass hysteria. In The Crucible people go around picking out people they don't like and calling them out as being a witch, thus ruining their reputation. As in professional sports people go around looking at accomplished athletes and decide to start the vicious rumors of these athletes using steroids.

In The Crucible, citizens will lie about being witches to save their reputations; likewise, athletes who use steroids will also lie to save theirs. In The Crucible Abigail's blatant lie "[t]here be no blush about my name" (Carroll et. al 1239) echoes the lies told by Barry Bonds. When Abigail says this, she is talking to her uncle, who asks her if she is still a virgin. As the quote suggests, she denies that she has been sexually active. Lies such as Abigail's are often used to protect one's reputation to avoid the wrath of the witch hunters. Bonds' actions parallel Abigail's because he does not openly admit to taking steroids while tests prove that, in fact, he did. "It's generally accepted that Barry Bonds is guilty..." (Smith 1) of steroid use even though he first denies this. Although he is most likely guilty, several innocent athletes are accused because other athletes have actually been guilty of using steroids. This has created a stereotype. Therefore, the lies which Abigail and Bonds told were used to hide stains on their reputations that came from the witch hunt.

Faulty evidence, jumping to conclusions, and making assumptions before they actually know all the facts, are all common in a witch hunt. When speaking to Goody Proctor, Proctor makes a comment about being alone with Abigail. Goody questions, "You were alone with her?" (Carroll et. al 1270) automatically assuming that Proctor had slept with Abigail again. "That's how it is, how it has to be nowadays. Excel. Then explain" (Smith 2). This shows that faulty evidence is used in everything we do, and it will continue to be that way. Always someone, somewhere, being accused of something they didn't do because of the apparent "evidence" someone thinks they have. In Smith's quote he is saying that people will go ahead accusing others of steroid use then worry about the details of it all later, they "[e]xcel. Then explain" (Smith 2).

The search for steroid use in professional athletes is a modern day witch hunt because it too induces mass hysteria. When John Proctor yells frantically "they're pretending Mr. Danforth!" (Carroll et. al 1312) he is exemplifying the

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