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Forgiveness is a critical step on the path to resolving conflict.I have my ideas on...

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ihateenglishh | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 23, 2010 at 9:53 PM via web

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Forgiveness is a critical step on the path to resolving conflict.

I have my ideas on this but i'm not sure how i should start my introduction. Ill be talking about forgiveness is neccessary but it is not always the answer to resolving conflict, but rather feeling remorseful. Also to forgive, you must forgive yourself. Could you please help me to expand my ideas?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 24, 2010 at 4:34 AM (Answer #2)

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I think that an introduction to this particular type of prompt might want to examine the role of forgiveness in the play.  This might involve brief discussion about the nature of transgression, its effect on oneself and others, and how forgiveness fits into the role of conflict.  I would really tread carefully because if you start giving too much information in the introduction, you are going to reduce the effectiveness of the body of your work.  You would "bury the lead" if you give too much in the introduction.  I think that you also want to make sure you don't sound too didactic in your assessment of how the need to forgive yourself is essential.  Tie it into the play/ drama and keep it there.  I think discussion of Proctor's mistakes and how it impacts him might be one avenue, as well as mentioning the effect it had on Elizabeth.  Perhaps, discussion of legal and moral forgiveness might be another approach to bring out in the introduction.  It is essential that your introduction bring out your ideas and your thesis statement, but not dwell too much in defending and explaining it.  This should be done in a thorough manner within the paper, itself.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 25, 2010 at 12:34 PM (Answer #3)

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I agree with the ideas already posted, and I like the ideas you're already thinking about.  I only have two things to add which may be helpful.

First, forgiveness does not always resolve conflict, both in The Crucible and in life.  We have incidents in the play in which forgiveness does resolve conflict; we also have incidents in the play where conflict continues with or without forgiveness. I'm sure you can think of some incidents in your own life where both things are true, as well.

Second, it seems to me the purpose of forgiveness (of offering forgiveness) is more for the cleansing of the soul or conscience than it is for resolving conflict.  In other words, the forgiveness is the big deal and the resolution of conflict--if it comes--is a happy by-product of something dome for personal healing or emotional health. 

So, connecting forgiveness and conflict resolution is a little tricky and certainly not a given in all situations.  Happy writing!

Lori Steinbach

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marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 27, 2010 at 11:54 AM (Answer #4)

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I totally agree with both #2 and #3.  I think the introductory paragraph of your thesis needs to tell just enough to keep your reader reading but not tell all. 

Additionally, I'd like to point out that conflicts are always going to arise where there are differences of opinion.   If you and I were to have a conflict of interests severe enough to cause us to come to words or blows, whether or not you forgave me later on couldn't have prevented the conflict from occurring in the first place!  If I hurt you, it would be nice if you forgave me, but I certainly wouldn't expect it!  

Forgiveness is certainly a magnanimous act and helps to mitigate the effects of a conflict, but forgiveness itself does not prevent conflicts from happening!

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 1, 2010 at 12:12 PM (Answer #5)

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There isn't a lot of forgivenenss in this play...mostly it is between John and Elizabeth (or at least this is where it is most developed).  There is little forgiveness between the girls and their treatment of one another, between Abigail and Elizabeth, the community and the judges, the community and their minister (whom some see as greedy and more worried about having better candlesticks and his wood provided than ministering to the flock).

I agree that forgiveness is a nice thing, and that Christians are expected to forgive those who act against them, but if you travel to Salem today, I would venture that you will find descendents of the murdered "witches" who are still just a bit miffed about the whole unjust event.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 6, 2010 at 1:32 PM (Answer #6)

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Is there not a sense in which self-forgiveness is important and a vital element of the play? It is this that arguably allows John Proctor to take his defiant last stand at the end of the play. He is concerned for his "name" but also he is able to recognise his own mistakes in terms of confessing before and with his relationship with Abigail.

So maybe when it comes to internal conflict, forgiveness is important, but as other editors argue, it certainly doesn't stop or resolve conflict.

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