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The Crucible - Williams 1 Ryan Williams 11 October 2006 EN...

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Williams 1 Ryan Williams 11 October 2006 EN 102 Prof. Christine Smith The Balance of Power: Danforth’s Use of His Authoritative Powers Power, oftentimes, is a catalyst in turning decent leaders into power hungry, stubborn dictators. When rulers are given the power to have the be-all and end-all say on issues, they tend to channel the course of events to go the way that they want them to go, not necessarily what is best for everyone else. Sometimes, they make decisions that will better themselves and actually harm their “subjects”. This happens to be the case in The Crucible. The Crucible is set in a Puritan town in Salem, Massachusetts. Although not directly stated, we can assume that these Puritans came to the United States in hopes of finding some tolerance for their religion. In Salem however, the government forces a strict Puritan law on the people and any variations from their religion result in extreme measures. Because the leaders of Salem, in particular, Danforth, believe that their authority overrides the law, they deny the defendants their most basic human rights when the Puritan law is violated. Because Danforth is such an influential icon in society he can violate these rights without any repercussions. Throughout the novel, other characters notice the injustice and inconsistency of Danforth’s rulings, however, do not have enough authority to say anything to make a difference to Danforth even though people’s rights were clearly being violated.
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