Fear is one of the leading reasons that influence people’s decision making in life. The dictionary defines fear as, “A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger”. This feeling, present in everyone’s life at some point, is more influential than one might think. Everywhere in the world today people live in fear, whether it is terrorism, robbery or something as simple as criticism, this feeling of fear causes people to do unusual things.
In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, fear changes people’s reaction to events, affects a group of people differently from an individual, and controls the rumor “bin” that goes around their society. In The Crucible, fear was a weapon that was used by people to control and manipulate the citizen’s minds. People in this play had only one thing that they were afraid of: shame brought to their family’s name and punishment from a ruling authority, in this case court. For example, Reverend Parris, father of Betty, was holding back of telling the town citizens what was going on with his sick daughter.
Parris feared how the citizens would react and take him down from the pedestal he stood on since witchcraft was still a possibility for his daughter’s obscure sickness. He could of told the people what was going on but, with fear, chose to change his reaction and not report it which came back to bite him in the rear. Fear, weather you disagree or not, affect a group of people differently from an individual. By doing so it makes people say things that are not true. When someone is told to confess or they will get hang or whipped to death, their fear of death pushes them to do whatever they can to avoid this consequence.
As Elizabeth, Tituba, and Betty were into trouble from their superiors, they started lying by blurting out, “I saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil! ”, “I saw Goody Bibber with the Devil! ”, and “I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil”, and putting those people’s lives in danger without them committing a sin. When a society’s heart and mind is filled with fear, gossip and rumors start flying through about one another and cause people to turn upon each other. In The Crucible, reverend Hale goes visits the Proctor family and informs them about the rumors and how Elizabeth Proctor’s name came up about witchcraft.
Both reverend Hale and John Proctor were afraid to tell the courts people that all the gossip and rumors they heard was a hoax. They feared that for Elizabeth’s sake, they were going to get in trouble for letting out the thoughts on their minds and in the case the truth. Agree or disagree, fear is in everyday life and people can agree it’s happened to them one point in their lives. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, it happened to everybody and it gave citizens fear and changed people’s reaction to events, affected groups of people differently from an individual, and controlled the rumor “bin” that went around their society