How is it possible for one to be so benevolent, yet still stimulate so much controversy and even death? In Arthur Millerr’s The Crucible, we see Reverend Haler’s naivety, altruism, and sincere nature that leads him to have too much faith in humanity and cause many issues throughout the play.
At the beginning of The Crucible, we can see Reverend Haler’s altruistic nature, and his desire to help people, a hidden characteristic because of the manipulation he falls for and the aggressive interrogations he does at the beginning of the play. His eagerness to solve problems can sometimes have consequences. Hale is first summoned to Salem by Reverend Parris, so he can examine his daughter, Betty, to determine if she has been afflicted. Before Hale examines Betty, he wants to be sure that Parris is willing to listen to his advice. He tells Parris, 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 12). Hale is taking his job seriously and wants to make sure that everyone else is as well. He is not just doing this for money or selfish reasons, but rather uses his skills to help people. After Hale arrives, Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft to clear her name, and as a result, Tituba receives an interrogation from Hale to find out if she is telling the truth and to help Tituba if she is. He tells her to, Take courage, you must give us all their names.
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How can you bear to see these children suffering? Look at them, Tituba-look at their God-given innocence; their souls are so tender; we must protect them, Tituba; the devil is out and preying on them like a beast upon the flesh of the pure lamb…God will bless you for your help (17) Hale wants to help the innocent children he thinks have been afflicted, and by recognizing their innocence when talking to Abigail, it is his attempt to trying to help them. Later on, Hale goes to the Proctors home to question them himself before they appear in court, so he does not jump to conclusions about their innocence. When he concludes that they are innocent, he tries to help them. He says, God keeps you both; let the third child be quickly baptized, and go you without fail each Sunday into Sabbath prayer; and keep a solemn, quiet way among you (30). Hale tells the Proctors to try to appear more Christian so no one will question them and their faith. Compared to other characters such as Reverend Parris and Abigail , Hale is not in it to help himself,
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