“Even the Good can be Twisted” “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ” ( Dr. Seuss) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. ” (Psalm 23:4) “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. ” (William Shakespeare) These quotes, found throughout many different time periods of history, all say the same: “Be who you are and don’t let anything change that. ” These are great words to live by, but, in time of weakness, does one stay true?
Can even the good be twisted? This is a theme that is represented throughout The Crucible many times. Characters such as Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale had good intentions or morals in the beginning but were soon marred by protecting a lover, temptation, or the questioning of all that one stood on. To begin, Elizabeth Proctor was twisted in a way that was out of love for her husband and his keeping safe. In the beginning, Elizabeth was a character that was known for never lying. She was a woman of Salem that could do no wrong and loved her husband abundantly.
Soon, though, her incorruption was challenged when she was brought to court to prove her husband’s innocence. Instead of telling the truth, she lied about the affair that John had previously confessed about. Thinking what was best, detrimental to herself or not, Elizabeth broke the one thing that made her consistent. She chose hurting her own conscience and fate over seeing her husband be punished for a crime he actually committed. As a result of this, Elizabeth’s whole character was altered, changing from a purely good woman to a liar.
Simultaneously, John Proctor’s character was distorted in many ways. Even before the play began, John had broken his own moral code by having an affair with Abigail Williams. This went against, not just the rules of the church, but his own personal beliefs and everything he lived by. This caused John to have internal conflict throughout the entire play, making him guilt-ridden. This contention was only to him until he openly stated it in court to prove his wife’s innocence from witchcraft. It was a moot point though, because Elizabeth did the same thing for him, damning him to be ried for taking part in black magic. Only in the end did John Proctor feel any forgiveness towards himself. In his mind, he deserved the punishment he was going to endure and wasn’t going condemn anyone else in the process. All in all, John was a noble man but, warped by temptation, was made a man of slander. Furthermore, Reverend Hale was pushed to change also. Hale came into Salem a stranger, but knew how to fix the problem the town endured. He never questioned that God had a plan and always thought that something was either good or bad, with no gray area in between.
This thinking is challenged when Elizabeth, a pure person, is accused and then later when John confesses. He knows that these people are honest and leaves the court for a period of time. In the end, Hale is a desperate man, and even though knowing there is no witchcraft present, he urges John to admit that he is not the one that should be punished. He has to question all the rules he has lived by his whole life and pursue something he knows is incorrect. In essence, Reverend Hale is pushed to his limits and is turned into a man that will be permanently in suspicion of any standards he ever thought were true.
In the end, as a reader, one is challenged to think, if put in that situation, if he or she would falter from what is right. If one would, knowing that is against every precedent and moral one owns, be brought away from all that is good and change? This play shows this theme various times throughout that the good, like Elizabeth, John, and Hale, would be changed when brought up against acting out of love, lust, and doing what is right. The Crucible is continuously asking the reader, “Can even the good be twisted? ”