The Crucible, Arthur Miller "How and to what extent does The Crucible show that it is more damaging to deny the truth, than it is to acknowledge it?"

Essay by InfinithHigh School, 12th gradeA+, July 2004

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In The Crucible, Arthur Miller gives many examples that show that denying the truth, and lying to do so, is far more damaging than it is to simply acknowledge it. The play demonstrates the potential damage that can occur to a person's reputation and livelihood when false accusations are placed upon them. It shows that when certain individuals are willing to deny the truth in order to avoid the consequences of acknowledging it, that denial forces lies to be constructed. These lies lead to more deception and, in the case of the plot of "The Crucible", eventually grows out of control, leading to a course of events that was never originally intended.

This denial mixed with deception is particularly damaging in "The Crucible" as it is closely linked to religion. This severity comes from the fact that, at the time the play was set, the church had immense power and people were seen as either being a Christian or a devil worshipper.

There was very little middle ground. If it weren't for the intense religiousness of the community of Salem, the damage caused would have been substantially less. The damage that can be caused by denying the truth is magnified by the situation caused by the constraints of the highly religious society that the people of Salem adhered to.

The main and most significant instance of denying the truth in "The Crucible" occurs when the girls are caught dancing and supposedly practicing witchcraft in the forest. Witchcraft was seen to be a black and evil art that "devil worshippers" would undertake. They are seen by reverend Parris who then interrogates Abigail. When she was being questioned by reverend Parris about what had happened, she lied. Had she proceeded to tell the truth and...