Justice is fragile, it can be altered and become corrupt to abide to a person’s likings. When more and more people learn that it’s corrupted, they take advantage of such thing.
In The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses Abigail’s character to show that corruption of justice can negatively affect one’s integrity, resulting in dire consequences to all that are involved. When justice becomes corrupted, anybody can be willing to lie to ensure their own safety. Some lie simply for the sake of vengeance. Most of the time, lying works. When Tituba was being accused of witchcraft, she screamed that she loved God. Whether this may be true or not is plausible, however, she say what the people wanted to hear and figured a good outcome would come from it. This is shown when the text stated that she yelled “I love God with all my bein’!” (45 Miller). She was accused of this because she was dancing in the woods with a group of girls.
One of those girls were Abigail Williams, a girl who previously had an affair with John Proctor. After Tituba exaggerated her love for God, she was let off free to live her normal life. Corrupted justice also brings fear amongst those who need to lie.
Elizabeth Proctor was being accused of witchcraft when really she was just disliked by Abigail for being the wife of John Proctor. Elizabeth had this constant fear in her for being the wife of Proctor, who had a previously strong connection with the main accuser. One can determine the fear she had when the text states that Elizabeth said “She wants me dead.
I knew all week it would come to this.” (60). The thing with lying is that it’s very potent. When used right, it can effectively help the liar.
However, when the liar is caught, that’s a different story. When one is proven to have a lack of integrity, it can lead to severe consequences. A tainted integrity is no good once exposed. After Abigail’s actions have gone too far, John Proctor tried everything in his power to expose her. However, he then gave up and was arrested for his “crimes”.
Proctor had the choice to lie and say that he is the devil in exchange for his life. Otherwise, he dies honorably. Proctor then chose to give his life. In the eyes of other people, if Proctor is telling the truth, they think he’s lying and vice versa. Since Proctor chose to tell the truth, he was seen to be a liar and was hung.
This is shown in the text when Hale is trying to convince Proctor to tell the truth. “Man, you will hang!” (144). Abigail’s lack of integrity lead to the death of many. Many of those people were innocent.
In the eyes of the people who weren’t accused, believed that those who claim to be innocent were actually liars. Therefore, when they were seen as liars, they were punished with death. This was how Giles Corey died. Giles would not say any information that would benefit nor expose him.
He remained silent until killed. This was stated in the text when Elizabeth said “Giles…they press him…”(135). Giles died by being pressed by two stones until he said information, except he only made the interrogators become more indignant and kill him.