Fear into Self-reinforcing
Fear is a dominant emotion in The Crucible. Mr Parris is afraid that his rebellious parishioners will use Betty's strange illness to oust him from his position; Abigail fears that Reverend Hale will find out what she did in the forest; so she embarks on a trick that almost destroys the village. Throughout the trials of the people living in Salem no evidence was found to convict anyone of witchcraft. Instead the word of a group of young girls was taken as the truth because nobody dared question people who had seen and encountered the devil so the idea that they girls were lying was not one that could be easily verified. Also In The Crucible, Arthur Miller examines the topic of fear and how it is used to silence the opposition and pressure others into false testimony.
The unique feature that drew Miller to Salem was the fear that erupted there in 1692. Puritans believed that the Devil was constantly working to tempt human beings away from God. At the end of the play, Tituba is waiting for Satan to transport her to the singin'and dancinin Barbados (p. 108). All other references to witchcraft are connected with fear, suspicion, and the collapse of normal social values. The stricken community can no longer defend itself or protect vulnerable individuals. There are two types of accusation in the play. The first comes from characters seeking revenge or exploiting the panic for personal gain. Others pass on the blame for their misfortunes, but they are not necessarily malicious. Irrational fear deludes them into believing whatever they are told. (No one ever stops to ask why Rebecca should want to harm Mrs Putnam's babies.)
The pressures of irrational fear are most vividly illustrated in their effects on Mary Warren. Mary is terrified from the moment she steps inside the court, but she bears up well under…