What is a good thesis statement about Judge Hathorne in The Crucible in Act III?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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A thesis statement comes out of an astute revelation or question about the text being read or character being considered. Regarding Judge Hathorne, two questions present themselves in Act III. The first relates to Hathorne's bigoted attitude and beliefs and to the underlying premise of the court proceedings, which is that "the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children." You might ask upon what is Hathorne's bigotry founded? Is it founded on an unsubstantiated belief in the divine instrument of young people (the girls are adolescents, not young children)? Or is this belief the result of his bigotry: Which came first? The chicken or the egg? The bigotry or the belief in the divine voice "of the children"? The second question that arises in Act III is why exactly Hathorne is so unrelenting in his pursuit of the trial, confessions and convictions even while Hale retracts and repents the proceedings? Both of these questions shed light on each other and develop a deeper understanding of Judge Hathorne's character. One might write a thesis statement something like, "While Hathorne is recognized as a bigot, the relationship between his bigotry and conviction that 'the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children' remains in question." One might also write a thesis as a question like, "How much does Hathorne's belief that 'the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children' influence his relentless pursuit of the trial even when Hale regrets and repents the actions of the court?"

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