Statement of explanation
The exploration of this context prompt, fear of what is different lies at the root of conflict, has been chosen to be written in the form of a persuasive essay. Much like the text response, this essay only presents the one point of view, that agreeably the fear of the different than being different is what drives conflicts. However, unlike a conventional text response, this essay does not strictly revolve around just the text, but also the historical context and background of the text, to illustrate that the conflicts that arise from fears of being different not only occur in individuals, but also in societies.
The language chosen in this essay is intended to be for one with some prior knowledge of the context and setting that the Crucible was written in, including the parallels of Puritanism and McCarthyism that Arthur Miller has drawn from. The formality of the writing also expects the reader to be well literate as to be able to discuss and explore some of the more complex issues surrounding the Salem witch hunts. To retain both the formality and persuasiveness of the writing, conventional persuasive techniques such as rhetorical questions, statistics and strong tones have been avoided, but the wording, sentence structure and word choices have still been used extensively.
Word choices such as paranoia, obsession and hysteria are intended to persuade the reader to sense that the conflicts that have emerged from the fear of difference have only being fuelled by mere panic and irrational, unreasoned and unfounded beliefs. Consistent use of quotes relating back to the Crucible are employed to show a good understanding of the text as well as providing strong textual evidence for the writing. The choice of longer quotes from the Crucible demonstrate an in-depth interpretation of the subtext and text, such as a speech Danforth gives to Hale on the logic of the witch cries.
The styling and expressions within this essay are worded in such a way as to give very definitive arguments that the fears of being different, and of the different, is what truly divides people. This essay attempts to maintain an extremely close relationship of the prompt to the text to show greater knowledge and appreciation of the Crucible. The linking of some parallels associated with the Crucible, including the beliefs of Puritanism, McCarthyism and even terrorism intend to illustrate how, even though times have changed, society's failure to accept itself and everyone within it, coupled with the paranoia to explore change had not.
People's true fears, desires and jealousies for one another's powers, pride riches and social status have undoubtedly risen in times of conflict where underlying real truths have emerged from long hatreds for each other. Such fears and disputes of social equality and differences become the fuel and more so, the catalys,t for the social issues introduced and presented in the play, the Crucible. Arthur Miller's subtle illustration of the then current social parallels of McCarthyism with Puritanism largely drew on the fact that conflicts arise based upon people's uncertainty of change and the unknown, especially the trepidation based purely on what is different.
The thirst for power, money and social status is clearly illustrated in Miller's character, Reverend Parris. Parris' paranoia of the townspeople impeding his ambitions drive is not only an obsessive terror in him, but also a bitter hatred for them." I do not fathom it, why am I being persecuted here? I'm not blind, there is a faction in the party against me". Likewise, Parris', atypical, almost sinful greedy and selfish personality become at the core of other people's hatred for him," there is a danger for me. I cannot step outside at night!" Ultimately, by the end of the play, Parris' obsession and paranoia achieve little more than enemies and bitter quarrels…