Integrity In The Crucible Essay

927 words - 4 pages

?What is left when honor is lost?? Publilius Syrus' quote, though dating from 100 B.C., still seems pertinent to our era (Quotations). Many people still feel that once integrity is lost they are nothing and many are willing to stand up to keep their integrity. Without integrity, we are nothing. During the time that Arthur Miller wrote his most famous play, The Crucible, innocent men and women are accused of having Communist leanings. Their whole lives are ruined in a short amount of time because they refuse to compromise themselves by selling out their friends. Miller tries to make a statement about these unfair trials by comparing them to the Salem witch-hunts and trials of 1692. The main ...view middle of the document...

Giles Corey is being pressed to death for not giving the court the name of an innocent person. Even to the end he refuses to give in. "Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. `More weight,' he says. And died," explains Elizabeth (883). Even the Reverend John Hale, who is involved in the court, speaks out against the proceedings: "I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court!" (876). He leaves the court because he believes they are unjust. Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse maintain their integrity and refuse to sign a confession, and they hang alongside John Proctor because of this. Elizabeth Proctor does not compromise herself, but is allowed to live because she is pregnant.
In the 1950s, innocent people are accused of being Communist sympathizers and are deprived of their livelihood. They are blacklisted, which means no one will hire them because they are labeled as Communists, and they are not accepted in society either. Some people give the committee names of their associates to keep themselves out of trouble, but not everyone does this. Some stand up for themselves and speak out against the court regardless of what will happen. This is a big sacrifice and it proves that they have integrity. One of these few is John Howard Lawson, who is one of "The Hollywood Ten". He goes on trial before the committee and claims that they are encroaching on his rights as an American citizen. He is not afraid of the committee and tells them exactly what he thinks. When they try to bully him into revealing the information they wanted, he responds, "I am...

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