In our society

In our society, we always hear that change is good. We hear this through books, motivational speeches, newspapers and sorts of media outlets. Our society suggests that change is always a good thing. Change is always thought of being for the better, and rightfully so. This usually comes from the fact that we are unhappy or dissatisfied with the state we are in, so in order to create more engaging and pleasant environment, we adjust or change our personage. However, others move away aimlessly in the wrong direction and try to change others. In The Crucible, characters are often being tried and tested where they feel uncomfortable, and they need change in order to solve the problem. Some of the select characters that change during The Crucible are Reverend Hale, who changes dramatically; Abigail Williams, who tries to change the people around her; and John Proctor, who somewhat changes. All of these characters realize that change is necessary, but confront their problems in different aspects.
Reverend Hale was a person right off the bat that was someone who changed. At the beginning of the play, Reverend Hale is very smart and is determined to get to the bottom of the witch hunts. He relies a lot on the books and studies and, “All the invisible world, caught defined, and calculated. In these books the devil stands stripped of all his brute disguises. Have no fear now, we shall find him out if he has come among us, and mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!” (Miller, 845). Reverend Hale is determined to rid Salem of witchcraft and at this point, he seems unstoppable. However, later on through the play, he becomes less involved in the trials, and has more time to look at everything that is going on, and during this he seems to find the truth. He finds out that when everyone stops accusing each other, every time they hear the word “witchcraft”, most of the people in the town are really innocent. At the end of the play, Danforth tells John Proctor to sign his name on paper, confessing of witchery. However, Reverend Hale pleads with Elizabeth Proctor, trying to convince her to tell her husband John, that it is stupid of him admitting to something that he did not do. “Woman, plead with him! Woman! It is pride, it is vanity. Be his helper! What profit him to bleed? Shall the dust praise him? Shall the worms declare his truth? Go to him, take his shame away!” (Miller, 1256). Here Reverend Hale’s eyes are opened and sees that John Proctor’s confession to witchcraft is false. Reverend Hale goes through a change from a person who is accusing a lot of people to a person who is trying to save and defend truly innocent people.
Abigail Williams is different. Instead of changing herself, she tries changing the people around her to keep herself looking innocent. When she and her friends go dancing in the woods, it was all just fun and games until they got caught. Abigail then began to say and do anything to shift the focus of Salem away from dancing, and toward something resultant. Out of nowhere, Abigail changed from a somewhat innocent girl playing games, to a manipulative girl accusing random people in her town of engaging in witchcraft. Trying to blame others, Abigail screams, “I want to open myself! I want the light of God. I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osborn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!” (Miller, 1198). Abigail tries manipulating others by blaming other people. During this time, most Puritans are paranoid, so if any that were accused they would be stereotyped by most of the town. When someone was accused of witchcraft, there was no physical evidence to condemn. The only thing that the court has to go on is the person and their word. This was a part of the weaponry that Abigail uses to expose and manipulate other people.
At the beginning of the play, John Proctor was shown as a selfish person who would do anything to protect and preserve his image, especially his affair with Abigail Williams. In a conversation between John and Abigail, Johns tries to completely erase Abigail’s mind of their affair by explaining to her that, “They never touched” (Miller, 1184). However, when Abigail tries to expose the truth, John quickly denies it, “Aye, but we did not” (Miller, 1184). As shown, John will do anything to keep his affair a secret. However, further down the play, as things get worse, he recognizes that the only way to stop Abigail is to admit that he has had an affair. He knows this is one of the only things that might work. “I have known her, sir. I have known her”, says John in the courtroom (Miller, 1236). Things get worse and a death sentence is put upon John’s head for trying to overthrow the court. John goes through a change as he realizes that he has to confess his secret affair.
These characters in The Crucible changed for either good or bad. The decisions they made would impact the people around them. Change is not always good, as it led to people’s downfall in the play, which also destroyed lives. Two of the three characters seemed to change for the better, however, one of the characters displayed a selfish attitude and actually did not change except, in her attempt to change others in order to deflect the negative attention of herself. So in this regard, change is not necessarily a good thing. For the most part, as shown in the characters of reverend hale and john proctor, positive change occurred in the case of reverend hale as he made an about-face change that saw him making rash judgments and accusations to becoming a staunch defender of the innocence of others. Additionally, john proctor transformed from a selfish, self-centered individual to one who recognized his own character flaws, and sought to change for the better. So, we can see from these examples that change can be for the good or for the bad and, in the end we are all responsible for the actions we take that lead us to change.