The Crucible

Personal Expediency Among the Puritans 10th Grade

Within the Puritan society of the seventeenth century, the fear of the Devil fueled the actions of individuals; this idea is reflected in two significant works of literature, A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This idea of devilish influence is exemplified by the actions of Josiah Bont (for Brooks) and Abigail Williams (for Miller). On the contrary, the virtuous character of Reverend Hale in The Crucible contradicts this common trait of personal expediency.

Josiah Bont, Anna Frith’s father, found that instead of assisting those who were ill with tasks such as farming, ensuring their deaths would be a much easier way to take their belongings and obtain money. A young girl, Merry Wickford, was left alone and starving upon the death of her entire family. Anna found the young girl and asked for Josiah's help in retrieving lead from Merry’s family's mine to pay for food. Unsurprisingly, Josiah refused to help anyone in need. Josiah even went to the extent of burying Christopher Unwin alive in order to steal Christopher’s property. Christopher survived, a turn of events which caused Josiah to receive the ultimate punishment for his wrongdoings: as one village authority states, “And so our code...

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