Why won't Corey reveal his source?

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

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Corey's insistence on not revealing his source about Putnam is a critical moment in the drama.  Corey's character is brought out in this moment and much in way of the morality of the play is also evoked in this instant.  Corey recognizes that the only reason his wife was arrested was because he brought up her "unusual" habit of reading to Hale.  In bringing up the name of another person, suffering results.  This is something that haunts Corey.  In a setting where so few are willing to take responsibility, Corey is able to assume his own sense of responsibility and what it means in the larger configuration.  While so many are running for cover and naming names to avoid further responsibility, Corey stands tall and demands an end to such hypocrisy.  Corey refuses to name his source because he does not "wish to bring harm to another person."  Corey's position is similar to Miller's own stance when brought in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, and refused to name names in the same defense.  Corey understands quite clearly that naming names is being manipulated by those in the position of power to advance their own agendas.  The pursuit of justice is a far removed end in this setting. Corey's refusal to name names is driven by this need to assume some level of moral stature in a setting where so many debase themselves.  His need to conceal and protect others comes from a belief of what should be as opposed to what is.

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