Would you agree that conflict and its consequences, is largely dependent on the way an individual approaches a situation or conducts him/herself.  If so, why. If not, why. (in ref to Crucible)...

Would you agree that conflict and its consequences, is largely dependent on the way an individual approaches a situation or conducts him/herself.

 

If so, why. If not, why. (in ref to Crucible)

 

Thanks, a lot.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Indeed, Miller's work does demonstrate how individual actions have a large role in conflict and its escalation or resolution.  Individuals play a large role in the conflict in the play.  Abigail's initial accusations and actions thereafter play a major role in how the situation in Salem unfolds.  Distinct human choice was exercised by Reverend Parris, who saw the conflict present as an opportunity to strengthen his political hold on both community and the mantle of leadership.  The townspeople all faced a critical choice in their predicament of freedom:  Stand up to the mob mentality in the accusations of witchcraft and face the consequences (John Proctor at the end) or remain silent and watch innocent people be deemed guilty by a corrupt system.  Throughout the play, individuals have freedom and their actions play a determinant role in how the multiple conflicts rise and fall.

Having said this, Miller also is very astute to perceive that, at a certain point, there has to be institutional safeguards that are able to protect against individual action contributing to the rise in conflict.  One of the most glaring elements of The Crucible is the idea that if the justice system and Constitutional safeguards had been effectively implemented, the tyranny of the majority, where individuals either were complicit by their silence of played an active role in the subversion of justice, some level of justice could have prevailed.  When individuals' actions are geared towards self centered or ends that reflect a lack of actualization, then there has to be an institutional set of safeguards that will not let the entire system become corroded by the actions of a few.

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The Crucible

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