Will someone please take a look at my essay and tell me what you think, and offer some suggestions as to what I can fix?   Crucible Essay: Who’s To Blame? Witchcraft is the talk of the town...

Will someone please take a look at my essay and tell me what you think, and offer some suggestions as to what I can fix?

 

Crucible Essay: Who’s To Blame?

Witchcraft is the talk of the town in salem and there are many reasons why so many people were hung, as well as there are many people to blame. in arthur miller's play the crucible, there was a sickness that ran through salem. many people were put to trial for witchcraft in salem, some of them confessed and some of them didn't, leading to their execution. there are many reasons why the events in salem occur and Miller constantly brings to the reader's attention that the flaws that his character, Reverend   Hale, possesses; His ignorance, stubbornness, and self righteousness makes him the most responsible for the progressive  monstrosity that was the Salem witch trials.

Reverend John hale’s ignorance is overwhelming, and is definitely why the witch trials escalated to the extent in which they did. Reverend Hale is an expert on a subject that doesn't exist, and he perfectly demonstrates just how deep his ignorance is when he told Proctor “this is strange times mister. noman may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered i monstrous attack upon this village. there is too much evidence now to deny it” Reverand Hale clearly believes that witchcraft is indeed present in Salem, however it is clear that it is not. his ignorance led to many deaths and his misplaced trust in the fairness of salem’s court system.Reverend Hale clearly demonstrates his ignorantly misplaced trust in the court system when he tells Francis Nurse “believe me Mr. Nurse, if Rebecca be tainted, then there is nothing left to stop the whole green earth from burning. let you rest upon the justice of the court; the court will send her home, I know it.” Reverend Hale’s ignorance was so severe that he led the most kindhearted individual in the whole town, Rebecca Nurse, to her undeserving death.

Next, Mr. Hale’s stubbornness has taken him away from the court and back again, making his word dirt. Hale changed his mind and said that people he had named as witches, were in fact not witches. If he changes his mind so quickly then the court cannot trust him, making anything he says not worth anything.he first quits the court when he says “i denounce these proceedings i quit this court.” he did this to save an innocent life. due to his stubbornness, it took him to this point to realize that the witch trials had gone too far, and that witchcraft wasn't really present in salem, just severe ignorance and a way to get rid of socially unacceptable people in salem. hale then watches as elizabeth signs johns death warrant when she lies about johns affair with abigail. “excellency it is a natural lie to tell, i beg you, stop now before another condemned! i may shut my conscious to it no more private vengeance is working through this testimony from the beginning this man has struck me true” it wasn't enough that he quit the court, but now his stubbornness has led him back, he believes that john is innocent, but due to his word not having any value, the witch trials escalated even more.

Finally, reverend  Hale’s self-righteousness has led him to be responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people. For example in his quote “they must be; they are weighted with authority” he is so sure that his books have all the answers that he would let his arrogant sentence leave his lips. Mr Hale believed that all the answers were in that book and in doing so he may have been responsible for all of those deaths. Also, in his quote quotation marks man remember, until an hour before the devil devil fell. God thought him beautiful in heaven. This quote was used to show that one and Reverend Hale thinks that someone is guilty, then  they could be the nicest person in the town and that doesn't change a thing they are still guilty.

In conclusion, Reverend John Hale is the most ignorant, self righteous, and stubbornness man in the play. His actions may be the reason why so many pointless deaths of so many innocent people. Reverend John Hale left the court and came back, making his arguments worthless he also continue to insist on his decision right. Finally, his ignorance may have given others false sense of knowledge about the existence of witchcraft. Responsible for the massacre that was the Salem witch trials.

Works Cited

Miller, Aurthur. The Cucible, Elements of Literature, Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2000. 829-87. Print.

2 Answers | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Witchcraft is the talk of the town in salem and there are many reasons why so many people were hung, as well as there are many people to blame. in arthur miller's play the crucible, there was a sickness that ran through salem. many people were put to trial for witchcraft in salem, some of them confessed and some of them didn't, leading to their execution. there are many reasons why the events in salem occur and Miller constantly brings to the reader's attention that the flaws that his character, Reverend   Hale, possesses; His ignorance, stubbornness, and self righteousness makes him the most responsible for the progressive  monstrosity that was the Salem witch trials.

I will comment on your first paragraph only. The whole essay needs several revisions, with attention to different things in each draft. I think to begin with you should make a clean copy with all the grammatical and orthographical oversights corrected. Salem needs to be capitalized. Arthur Miller's name needs to be capitalized. The Crucible always needs to be italicized. I think witch trials should be capitalized. 

You should get rid of many of your connectives, particularly the word "and." For example, you should change the first sentence to read:

Witchcraft is the talk of the town in Salem, Massachusetts in the year ____. There are many reasons why so many people were hanged, as well as why many people were to blame for these atrocities.

"Talk of the town" is a bad choice of words. It sounds like innocent gossip about current events. The front pages of the New Yorker are full of tidbits under the heading Talk of the Town. I would say something like "Witchcraft is a mania in Salem, Massachusetts..." I think "hanged" is the proper word rather than "hung."

Your whole essay would improve if you would use shorter sentences and stop tying two sentences together with "ands" or "buts." And it would look much better if you paid particular attention to such things as capitalization and punctuation. I know for certain that term papers will on average receive somewhat better grades just on appearance alone. That is why I think you should do one draft in which you focus on how the paper looks to the reader and worry about what it says in the next draft. 

The last sentence in your first paragraph is anathema to English teachers. It is a run-on sentence. Many students are guilty of creating these things. I was guilty of it myself when I was a freshman in college. I think I was trying to sound older, wiser, and a more accomplished writer than I really was. Here is your sentence:

there are many reasons why the events in salem occur and Miller constantly brings to the reader's attention that the flaws that his character, Reverend Hale, possesses; His ignorance, stubbornness, and self righteousness makes him the most responsible for the progressive  monstrosity that was the Salem witch trials.

Here is a first going-over:

There are many reasons why these events occur. Miller constantly brings to the viewer's attention the fact that the flaws in Reverend Hale's character--his ignorance, stubbornness, and self-righteousness--make him primarily responsible for the escalating horror of the Salem Witch Trials.

Since The Crucible is a play, you should say "viewer's" rather than "reader's," even though you probably only read it yourself. Notice how I set off "ignorance, stubbornness, and self-righteousness" with double dashes. This is a very useful punctuation device when you are writing that kind of sentence. However, you could shorten that sentence by writing: "Miller constantly brings to the viewer's attention the fact that Reverend Hale's ignorance, stubbornness and self-righteousness make him primarily responsible...etc." You don't really have to call them character flaws since that is pretty obvious.

You are obviously intelligent and potentially a good writer. If you write several drafts of your paper, focusing on one or two aspects in each revision, you should end up with an A. These papers are a pain in the neck to write, but they are great learning experiences for conscientious students. It is well worth going over and over a paper if you end up with one that satisfies you and brings you a big fat A at the top. You next paper will be much easier to write, and the next more easy.

Make your final draft letter-perfect.

Write shorter sentences. Look at every "and," "but," and "which," and see if it is really necessary. Cut out unnecessary words, words that are redundant because they are implicit in what you have already said. For example, you say some of them confessed and some of them didn't." You could cut out four words by writing: "some confessed and some didn't." It is obvious you are talking about the people who were put on trial, so the "of thems" are redundant.

Choose the correct words to describe what you mean. A thesaurus can be very helpful.

Read The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Sleep with it under your pillow.

I hope these comments are helpful.

Sources:
mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

  • Content

First of all, you may wish to re-think your appraisal of the "tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual" Mr. Hale, who is convinced of the underworld and its evil as possessive of a character that is overwhelmingly ignorant because he does change throughout the course of the play. At first, he enters with his books and his enthusiasm for going after the "Old Boy"; however, as the trial develops and he listens to the witnesses and observes the dynamics of the community, Hale begins to realize that when public morality and public good exist in a theocracy, individual action is placed under suspicion since individuals are, then, motivated by how they will appear to the community and how they will stand in the church, as well. Thus, members strive to cast aspersions onto others in order to make themselves appear to be without fault in their actions. This is why, for instance, Abigail accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft; she wishes to remove her as an obstacle to attaining John Proctor.

While he suffers from naivete in Act II and is accused of being like Pontius Pilate by John Proctor, Hale begins to deduce that much of the allegations against Proctor are prompted by his disputes with Parris and other intra-personal conflicts, while Parris is threatened in his position by having Abigail as a niece. He finally questions the reasoning behind accusations at the end of Act II, and certainly in Act III during the trial when he tells Danforth, the judge, that he believes Abigail gives false testimony. When, for instance, she claims to see an angel, Hale denies its presence: "I see nothing, Your Honor!" Further, he doubts Mary Warren's testimony and asks her, "May it be, perhaps that someone conjures you even now to say that?"Even so, Hale weakens and instructs the girls to confess and save themselves, insisting that survival is the highest good, not honor.

  •  Expression

Your essay has the correct format as you have a thesis statement in the introduction with three points which you attempt to develop. Again, the suggestion here is that you re-think the thesis and go with, perhaps, naive righteousness, logical thinking and practicality. Be sure to give several illustrations of each point with passages from the text. Support, support, support! The better you support, the stronger your argument. Your thesis, then, could be something like this:

While Mr. Hale presents himself as an idealistic Defender of the Faith against acts of the Devil, he is naive and stubborn, but he is also rational and comes to understand the dangerous implications of the Salem trials.

--Be sure to prove your points and supply copious support. For example, on the third point about dangerous implications, almost everyone is considered as against the church, and Hale recognizes the injustice of Proctor's attack along with the deviousness of others.

  1. Naive and stubborn - Hale has a preconception of the situation and misjudges it, but he identifies the numerous animosities and selfish behaviors involved.
  2. Rational and deductive - Hale becomes less and less convinced that the accusations of witchcraft are real; he begins to understand the motives and secret desires behind many of the accusations.
  3. Wiser - Hale identifies the hypocrisies of the church as the accusers are automatically innocent. 

When you revise, be sure to avoid any contractions (e.g. don't) and always write about literature in the present tense (e.g.do instead of did). Check spelling, capitalization, punctuation, sentence variety, etc. Do not write "in conclusion" in the first sentence of the concluding paragraph--just make the conclusion. Reword the thesis and end with a "clincher," a thought that extends from the essay such as "Indeed, one 'weighted with authority' owes the truth to all." Avoid emotional words such as "arrogant" as used in the sentence "...he would let his arrogant sentence leave his lips."  Use transitions [see link below] more between sentences and support all statements that develop the thesis with several examples and illustrations of your point (You need more).

RE: The introductory paragraph: Enliven your beginning with a quotation or statement that will motivate your reader to continue reading your essay. For instance, you could put this quote in the "motivator": While "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," the trials on witchcraft in The Crucible effect strong character change in the Reverend Hale.

Sources:

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