Essay on Witchcraft: Is There a Right Decision?

Many times in life, people are stuck in situations where their decisions are a disadvantage towards them. These kinds of situations are called lose-lose situations, also known as no win situations. In the play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the witch trials put a number of characters into no win situations. An ended affair between John Proctor and Abigail Williams, put the citizens in Salem on edge. After the affair ended, Abigail set out to accuse those she disliked, such as Elizabeth Proctor, John’s wife, as witches. Some citizens are being accused of being witches and are being held on trial with nothing to back them up, for there is no possible way for them to defend themselves. Those accused had their words twisted and used against them in court and the so called victims would also make up false accusations which led to the accused to be charged as witches. In the play, characters like Tituba, Mary Warren, and John Proctor, are all put in no win situations.

In the play, Tituba, a black slave, is accused of being a witch by Abigail. Tituba is put into a situation which could be described as a no win situation. To get into this situation, Tituba and Abigail, including her group of friends, went to the woods at night to dance around and drink love potions. Except, Abigail drank a charm to kill Elizabeth. They were seen and the next day Abigail has accused Tituba of witchcraft. Once this is brought up, she only has two options, to confess or to be hanged. When Thomas Putnam heard of the accusation, he exclaims, “This woman must be hanged! She must be taken and hanged!” (44). 

Because they live in a Puritan society, they were deeply religious and there would be severe consequences for those who went against the religion. The punishment of being a witch was hanging. Tituba had a choice of standing her ground and being hanged instead of confessing. If she had stood her ground, Abigail most likely would pinpoint someone else. Abigail does not want any attention on her at that moment because she does not want to get into trouble which leads her to blame others. In the end, Tituba would be hanged because she did not confess. Instead, Tituba chose to confess.

When she is talking to Reverend Hale, she tells him, “Mister Reverend, I do believe somebody else be witchin’ these children” (45). It clearly shows that she had decided to confess about being a witch even though she is innocent. From the false confession, it causes the people of Salem to actually believe there are witches among them. It also sparked the start of the witch accusations from Abigail and her friends. Tituba’s decision to confess, gave rise to the other witch trials because that was when Abigail realized the power and influence she had over the people. Tituba was put into prison and was looked down upon more than she was before. She was in a no win situation because if she did not confess, she would die; and if she did confess she is put into jail.



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