Abuse of Power in Salem

705 Words3 Pages
Throughout History, many people with authority have abused their power for their own benefit. Napoleon, Hitler, and George Washington are just few of these particular people who absorbed themselves in the appeal of power. In the Arthur Miller’s The Crucible three characters display the same characteristics of these famous leaders. The characters of Putnam, Parris, and hale, all hold different position during the Salem witch trials, yet they don’t use their power for the benefit of their tormented community. All three take advantage of their social position in different ways. Throughout the play, Putnam doesn’t employ his power properly, but instead uses it to get what he wishes. He covets other peoples land, and in order for him to take it, he manipulates his daughter to accuse them of witchcraft. As Giles mentions this in the play, “This man is killing his neighbor for his land,” (Pg. 1253) it becomes clear that Putnam is killing his colleagues by accusing them of being a “witch”, then exploits the witch trials to gain land from them. By no coincidence, some of the accused are those with land bordering Putnam’s estate. Even when he is able to take his neighbour’s land away he never seems satisfied or happy. Throughout an exploitation of the witch trials, Putnam gains more and more land thus increasing his realm throughout Salem. Another member of Salem who shares similar traits to Putnam is Reverend Parris. Parris is a wealthy and successful merchant in Barbados before he started ruling over Puritan congregation of Salem. When he finally moved to Massachusetts, he had become the Reverend of Salem and finds himself in a position of power. In Barbados, though he had been successful, he did not truly have power over people. That deficiency is obliterated upon him becoming one of Salem’s most powerful people, a minister of the church. Through
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