In The Crucible, what do the characters learn from their conflict?

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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The characters will find their own dignity or lack of, from the conflict and hysteria that ensues. John and Elizabeth will find strength and renewal within each other. Their marriage was hanging tenuously, yet , the strength of their characters draws them back together to face the many obstacles that will come their way. Loyalty is paramount for them, Elizabeth stands by John's decision to  die rather than give in and confess to something that was not true.

Hale, especially, learns something about human nature by the end of the play. He was overly confident when he came to town to solve their witchcraft issue. Yet, he watched the town divide and the situation get out of hand. Hale was unable to stop the madness, and found that many were truly enjoying playing god with  people's lives. Reason and rationality were lost, and Hale had to sink to their level in the hopes of sparing lives by the end of the play. It was he who tried to get Proctor to confess so that his life would be spared. Hale had come to see that only deception would combat the loss of lives, because the town was beyond reason and the ability to recognize truth.