REVEREND JOHN HALE: AUTHORITY AND ILLOGIC OR CONSCIENCE AND LOGIC?
In Arthur Miller's, The Crucible, when characters are faced with adversity, they are forced to show their true morals and beliefs. The character of Reverend John Hale fights a battle between what ideals have been engraved in his mind by books and society, and what he feels in his soul is truly right. All his inner conflicts are evidences of a logical brain of a Reverend. But can this logical brain be used in Salem society– a society with power of authority can change from black to white - at that time.
On his first day in Salem, when Parris and Putnam tell him about Betty’s condition, Reverend John Hale demonstrates his thinking about Devil and superstition in a logical way. “We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of Hell upon her” (Miller 845). He does not agree with Putnam when Putnam accused Betty disease is “a sign of witchcraft afloat” (Miller 845). Hale wants people in Salem to understand that everything must have a rightful reason to be believed. They cannot just say what they want to say, just accuse of people whom they do not like or just follow others to decide their opinions. Even his opinion in superstition does not have any reasonable foundation, and is still logical. People usually say that superpower does many things that cannot be explained, but with Reverend John Hale, he must see a “bruise of Hell” on Betty to believe that she is attacked by witchcraft.
Logic is not only in Hale’s thinking but also in his action in the inquisition about witchcraft in Salem. Like a professional detective, Reverend John Hale does not want to listen to just two or three people; he wants to analyze more and more people’s opinion to have his own view and conclusion. He goes “from house to house”, from afternoon...