Miller's Play, The Crucible, suggests that in some contexts the law is not always just. Discuss.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the elements that does come out of the play is that there are those in the position of power who use the law as their instrument to consolidate political gain and personal ambition.  These individuals frame their own personal agendas under the guise of "justice."  The individuals in the position of power in Salem, such as Abigail, Parris, and Putnam, are able to enhance their own sense of control through the pursuit of "justice" through identification of townspeople as witches.  The idea might not be centered on the unjust nature of justice. Yet, I think that the drama goes very far in asserting that there are individuals who use political power as a way of advancing their own agenda.  For these individuals, justice is just one more of multiple means to get what they desire, what they covet.  The pursuit of justice is a complex one, filled with many ambiguities.  Instead of focusing on these challenges, individuals in the position of power seek to embrace simplistic and reductive solutions, and these propositions not only obscure justice's pursuit but allow them to consolidate and strengthen their own power.  It is in this that Miller offers his strongest of rebuke, as opposed to the pursuit of justice.

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slocascio | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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The Crucible suggests that law isn't just because of the way the court went about finding and punishing "witches." In this book people were allowed to make any allegation with absolutely no proof to that allegation. Once they person was brought before the court they were left as a victim of that court. Either admit to something that they didn't do or be hanged. Once a person admitted something that they didn't do they were then required to name others. The person was then forced to live with a lie for the rest of their life also knowing they inflicted the court on others. The law was not just in these cases becuase they acted without proof of guilt. It simply took one person making the accusation. The Salem Witch trials is why we to this day we refere to any any group of people using unjust means to to determine gulity parties a "Wtich Hunt."

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