Hysteria Creates Unexpected Actions In Arthur Millers' "The Crucible"

650 words - 3 pages

Hysteria is characterized as an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often portrayed by irrationality. Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have grown to trust, do things that one would normally find anomalous much like in Arthur Millers The Crucible. Wherever hysteria takes place, it fosters distortion of truth, unfathomable actions, and false accusations causing communities to rip apart. People who died in the haste of fear and uncertainty were unnecessary because fear clouds the judgment and perception of a person.
While fear prevents clear thoughts and distorts truth, it provides action. People will band together in order to combat fear. Their numbers will provide them temporary safety until they dispel they fear as a whole. Fear makes one move upon impulses and ideas. With one simple accusation, one could demand that “You will confess yourself or you will hang...you will hang if you do not open” (117) your mouth. One’s life could be threatened if accused of a crime while a veil of hysteria obscures the community’s perception. Fear does not only originate from witches but being accused of witchcraft as well ,even if one wishes to stay away from the hysteria it is hard, almost “Four hundred are in the jails from Marblehead to Lynn...and seventy-two condemned to hang”(87) for claims of witchcraft. No matter what, everyone will be affected by fear, because fear has many faces and one cannot prepare for all of them.
Many illogical accusations occur as if they were part of the common dialogues between men. Even though they discover witchcraft to be an “invisible crime [and] therefore who may possibly be witness to it” (80). Provided this information how can, they not conclude that this is only a hoax. When the truth it staring one in the face who is so far gone in fear, truth is seldom taken for what it is...

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