Act IV of the Crucible
Act IV of the crucible is presented realistically by the author, Arthur Miller, through its setting, plot, and dialogue. The setting of the act takes place in a jail cell in Salem in the fall. The plot based on the legal system of Salem, which seeks to eradicate witchcraft in the town through executions of alleged suspects. Sarah Good and Tituba open the scene in jail after confessing to witchcraft to avoid execution. We are thereafter, introduced to Rebecca Nurse, who refuses to admit to the allegations of a crime she did not commit, and John Proctor, who to her amazement, is ready to confess. The two are two respected members of the society in Salem and given from the low turnout to Proctor's execution, indicatively, reveals the public’s unsettling support to the ongoing executions and witchcraft executions by the court (Miller, 2015).
The justice system in the town has shifted from justice to self-interest considerations, headed by Danforth, the Deputy Governor. In the act, Danforth tries to push Proctor into signing a false confession to prove that the court's system is fair and right, while the opposite is the truth. Proctor is willing to confess privately but not in writing as asked to, as that would be willingly giving in to the lies of the system and, as he says, not a good example to his children as a father in the least. Like Giles and Rebecca, he chooses martyrdom to self-interest rather than selling out on his fellows and set an example to his children. Apart from the court, the justice system, as depicted by the citizens, is vindictive, favoring the respected figures of the community and supporting trials of the disreputable members. Furthermore, the dialogues between Reverent Parris to Danforth and Hale to Elizabeth prove their knowledge of the evidently broken systems.
Miller, A. (2015). The crucible. Bloomsbury Publishing.