Most of today’s population take on their own views in society
Most of today’s population take on their own views in society. However, supporting an idea is one matter, but entirely switching one’s viewpoint can influence the surrounding people and cause confusion. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Reverend Hale learns throughout his investigations of the accused that the accused have no defense, consequently causing him to turn against the court, showing his fairness and good intentions to the ones he wrongfully scrutinized.
Reverend Hale’s goal upon his arrival to Salem is to remove any trace of the Devil. Arthur Miller writes that Hale is a well educated and logical man; a Harvard graduate with a desire to aid the townsfolk with his expertise. While conversing with Reverend Parris, Hale, feeling the need to wisely contribute to the conversation, claims, “We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone” (38). There is no superstition in all of the statements regarding witches. In addition, Reverend Hale expresses his belief in the idea of witchcraft, while also explaining that his committed to the cause. At this point, Hale appears to be an arrogant, yet misled character. Rebecca and Reverend Parris are listening to what Reverend Hale has to say and at first, Hale is speaking with a negative tone. In a way, his tone develops positively, as he describes his role in Salem, “Have no fear now – we shall find him out if he has come among us, and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!” (39). Reverend Hale’s determination to do right for the society is powered by the town’s need for his help. Furthermore, there is a sense that Reverend Hale enjoys his role in society because of the attention that he receives as a result of his work. Hale goes to visit the Proctors for an interview and makes a connection on what the court is able to prove with the accusations based on their devotion to religion. Reverend Hale is explaining to John Proctor, “My duty is to add what I may to the Godly wisdom of the court” (65). Hale truly feels that he has made the correct decisions in Salem and believes that he is making positive contributions to the witch trials. It is important to understand that the significance of Reverend Hale’s character is behind his motives, not his actions. Early enough, it becomes evident that Hale’s motives are simply for the good of others. Eventually, this goodness that Hale wishes upon others leads to his shift in perception of the court because he is able to identify not only the true, but also the grey side of the people.
Reverend Hale’s first internal doubts settle in as many more people are being convicted. The internal conflict that is beginning to engulf Hale only grows as the number of accused pile up. In conversation with Judge Danforth regarding the accusations, Reverend Hale exclaims, “I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it” (). Hale’s doubt is increasing on a matter of which he strongly believes in as he also feels the fallaciousness of the testimonies. Reverend Hale begins to question the justice of God and he is recognizing that what the court accepts as a fact of evidence does not meet his standard of “proof so immaculate”. Hale is speaking with the Proctors and he is telling them of the dangers of being accused of witchcraft and of his fear of a potential victimization for them. John and Elizabeth Proctor are listening to Reverend Hale as he tells them, “God keep you both; let the third child be quickly baptized, and go you without fail each Sunday into Sabbath prayer; and keep a solemn, quiet way among you” (). Hale is trying to save the Proctors because he does not believe that they are involved in witchcraft. Since it is very simple to get convicted, Hale is trying to look out for the Proctors so no one doubts their religiousness. Reverend Hale is speaking to Rebecca Nurse regarding the most recent developments of witchcraft as well as the danger the trials could inflict upon her. Hale, urging Rebecca to understand, explains, “though our hearts break, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir…and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points” ().
Slowly but surely, Reverend Hale begins to defend the accused because he believes that these people are unfairly facing accusations. Hale returns to Salem an attempt to get people to confess. Reverend Hale publically declares that the court was corrupt when he states, “I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves” (). Hale is saying that lying is typically considered to be a sin, however, he now believes that lying is the best option. In fact, in the eyes of Reverend Hale, this is for the good of the people as a result of the failure of the witch trials.