Evil is the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and the sin that harms even the holiest of people. In “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, the nature of evil is revealed through the corruption of reverend Parris which ultimately leads to devastation of society and reverend Hales good intentions. During 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, the witch trials begin as girls who were caught dancing in the forest pretend that they are under the influence of the devil. When the court is introduced in Salem many innocent people get accused of witchcraft so that the accusers can simply satisfy their own desires. Although both Parris and Hale are spiritual leaders, Hale shows integrity as he sticks for what his goal is, whereas Parris does not, showing his lack of integrity. Secondly, Parris’ selfishness takes his mind over as he consistently lies to get out of trouble, on the other hand Hale goes beyond his desires and attempts to do what is best for the society. Additionally, Parris does not establish truth nor justice as he never admits the girls are lying, but Hale tries everything to bring justice in Salem.
It’s easier to commit sinful actions and blame someone else than to stand up and risk ones reputation to be a hero. Reverend Parris shows lack of integrity throughout the play as he is fearful to lose his reputation as a spiritual leader. As the court is in debate Parris says “Excellency, you surely cannot think to let so vile a lie to be spread in open court” (Miller 89). Here, Parris’ evil action is shown because he knows that there is no witchcraft but he is too fearful of losing his reputation by admitting that the girls are lying. His lack of integrity is shown as he is not being honest in the court. Furthermore, reverend Parris becomes more pathetic towards the end of the play as he continues to lack integrity and does not tell the truth even though he almost got killed by a dagger at his door step. While talking to Danforth, Parris explains “Tonight, when I open my door to leave my house – a dagger clattered to the ground … There is a danger for me. I dare not step outside at night” (128).
Here, even when Parris is almost killed due to his lack of integrity, he still does not admit that the girls are lying. Furthermore, this occurs after Abigail steals his money, but he never admits that it is his fault, proving his lack of integrity. On the other hand, both Parris and Hale might be spiritual leaders but Hale shows he is heroic as he attempts to fulfill his obligations. Throughout the play Hale shows integrity because he is looking to find justice in the court no matter what it takes. During the courts discussion “in all justice, sir, a claim so weighty cannot be argued by a farmer. In God’s name, sir, stop here; send him home and let him come again with a lawyer” (99). Here Hale shows integrity because he is standing up for what he believes is correct; justice. Hale wants John Proctor to go back home and get a lawyer for the court so that he has a fair chance to save his wife. Furthermore, by the end of the play Hale tries one more time to create justice in Salem as he is talking to Danforth “There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head!!” (131). Here Hale is experiencing heavy guilt because before he had signed many peoples death warrant and now he has realized that there was never any witchcraft in Salem.
In addition, Hale shows integrity as he tries to fix what he has done wrong. Therefore, reverend Parris is too corrupt to admit his evil actions that destroys Salem while reverend Hale realizes what he has done wrong all though he had good intentions all along. In conclusion, Arthur Miller’s timeless classic “The Crucible” demonstrates the nature of evil through reverend Parris which ultimately devastates society and reverend Hales’ good intentions. Even though both Parris and Hale are spiritual leaders, Hale shows integrity as he sticks for what his goal is, whereas Parris does not, showing his lack of integrity. In addition, Parris’ selfishness takes over his mind as he consistently lies to get out of trouble, whereas Hale goes beyond his desires and wants to help save innocent people. Furthermore, Parris does not establish truth nor justice as he never admits what he did wrong, while Hale admits his mistake which makes him try and save people’s lives. Likewise many people in today’s society cannot admit their evil actions no matter what the circumstances are, while others would do anything to fix the situation.