“They think to go like saints. I like not to spoil their names.”(Miller Act IV). John Procter’s words connect to the mentality of a few characters in the play, “The Crucible”. The play is set in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 where one's name is of the utmost importance. The characters take all action, no matter how drastic or selfish to keep their name from darkening. When Reverend Parris’s daughter falls mysteriously ill, the town fears witchcraft is responsible which began the blame and accusations. It is revealed that Abigail along with her girls were dancing in the woods with Tituba the slave to conjure the dead; John Proctor committed adultery by cheating on Elizabeth with Abigail and a fiasco concerning a poppet that ‘stabbed’ Abigail. These events are all punishable by death for being a sin or related to witchcraft. As the play progresses there are false confessions, court trials, and innocent put in jail or executed.In “The Crucible” the playwright Arthur Miller reveals the power of Salem’s ideals of defending one's name by creating a paradoxical society in which vengeance, pride and cowardice influence characters’ decisions in negative ways.
Early in the play the characters express a need for vengeance that impacts their Puritan society negatively. One of the characters, John Proctor comments, “I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem- vengeance is walking Salem...and common vengeance writes the law”(Miller Page 24) about the presence of vengeance in their town. There were multiple perspectives of the witch trials in Salem; some used the trials to their advantage to get their vengeance. For example, in the perspective of Thomas Putnam and his daughter the trials were a chance to make many witch accusations towards people they felt who wronged them or land-lusted towards. Abigail Williams another character that is constantly seeking her revenge and hurts many people in the process. She argues,“There be no blush about my name” “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!”(Miller Page 4) about how John Proctor's wife Elizabeth is spreading lies that Abigail and the girls have been practicing witchcraft. However, Elizabeth is not lying about Abigail's ulterior motive of replacing her as John Proctor's wife. Abigail has drank blood to kill Elizabeth (a practice of witchcraft), blamed Elizabeth’s soul bewitching a poppet that tried to kill her, and made many accusations to get rid of her. Abigail has been chasing her vengeance ever since her affair with John. In contrast, some characters value their pride over vengeance which retains them from engaging in foolish actions.
Arthur Miller creates a society where one always has to do everything in their power to defend their identity and take pride in it. A person’s efforts to keep their prideful name from being tarnished in “The Crucible” often creates a paradox. John Procter states, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies!Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(Miller Page 43). Procter is fighting his conscience in court with the judges and Reverend Hale on whether to sign the confession to witchcraft when this is said. By signing, he would be falsely confessing which is a sin but, he would not be hanged. To Procter signing would lead him to a life of a fraud, therefore, his pride influences his life or death decision to die with his pride. Giles Corey is another character who let his pride influence a significant decision. When his wife, Martha Corey is accused of witchcraft he appears in court to defend her innocence which leads to accusations towards him. Elizabeth explains, “Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay.They say he gight," he says. And died.”(Miller Page 41). Giles would not answer his indictment for witchcraft to ensure his property was legally inherited by his sons. In doing so he would also save his respected name and his pride, which ethically was very important to him. John Proctor and Giles let the power of their pride influence their decisions however some characters let cowardly influence their actions.
In “The Crucible” it is revealed that there are characters that do not have the strength to do what is ethically right in their paradoxical puritan society causing them to take the coward's way out. Many times their cowardice is the result of their efforts to keep their reputation from being tarnished. For example, Abigail often lets cowardice guide her actions instead of having the courage to take responsibility for her actions. She threatens the girls, “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you...I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!”(Miller Page 6). Abigail is not willing to own up to practicing witchcraft so, she uses her power over the girls to keep them quiet. Following this threat is a series of cowardly actions like manipulating, framing, accusing and more. Mary Warren was one of the girls threatened by Abigail to lie. She insists, “Pointing at Procter. You’re the devil’s man!He is stopped in his tracks…(sobbing she rushes to Abby)Abby, Abby, I’ll never hurt you more!(They all watch as Abigail out of her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing Mary to her, and looks up to Danforth.” (Miller Page 36). Before this is said John Proctor asked her to help him defend the accused witches innocence including his wife Elizabeth in court by exposing the girls for lying which she agrees to. That all changes when she is accused of witchcraft because she jumps back to her old story that she and the girls have been bewitched. This is a pattern we see with Mary Warren, where she is constantly shifting her loyalty from the Proctors and Abigail. John Proctor saw this pattern before with Mary, therefore, he was doubtful when she agreed and his doubts were correct. The acts of cowardice in this play many times set a domino effect of negative events not only for that person as well as the people around them.
The Puritan society Arthur Miller created was filled with paradoxes. These paradoxes often concern a person's’ purity (not committing a sin) and significant decisions. A paradox we see in this play that is common in our present society involves false confessions. Many innocent people are forced or persuaded to make a false confessions (lie) to save themselves from a worse punishment. This is unfortunate for the person having to lie but, lets the guilty person on committed the crime free. The power of how they valued vengeance, pride and cowardice greatly impacted their actions. Understanding how those powers can contribute to dictating the characters decisions will help one learn that letting those values overpower may have a negative influence.
A conversation that lasted less than two minutes sparked a four-year court trial concerning freedom of speech/expression, religious liberty, and discrimination. Multiple sources including New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times have reported on this controversial issue and expressed their views. This initially started when a gay couple walked into Jack Phillips bakery requesting a wedding cake. Mr.Phillips politely declined since he feels gay marriage is not permitted in his Christian faith. He then informed the couple that he would be delighted to sell them other items like birthday cakes, cookies and more. The couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins felt unsettled and lodged a complaint with the state civil rights commission. The Colorado baker has the right to refuse a cake to the couple because of his First Amendment rights, ethical beliefs, and judgment made by the supreme court.
Jack Phillips’s First Amendment rights allow him to refuse to create a cake celebrating something he does not agree with. “Freedom of speech encompasses not only spoken and written word, but also all kinds of expression (including non-verbal communications such as sit-ins, arts, photograph, films, and advertisements)” stated by constitutioncenter.org. Phillips feels his cakes are an art and form of expression. His right to express himself through his cakes is protected by the First Amendment, the same as a filmmaker has the right to express a message through a film. Demanding Jack to make a cake for the couple completely ignores his rights and is unconstitutional. In an article by washigntonpost.com, they expressed that, “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.” The government agrees with the message expressed byo this article. His cakes are his form of expression and he can not be pressured to create a cake for what he does not believe. Phillips had the right to refuse to make a cake for the couple: forcing him to would disregard his First Amendment rights.
This baker refused to make the cake on account of his ethical beliefs. He is a devout Christian that greatly values his religion. In an article by nytimes.com, he explains,”I’m being forced to use my creativity my talents and my art for an event- a significant religious event- that violates my religious faith.” In the Christian community marriage is an event of much importance. Phillips’s would have to ignore his ethical beliefs and values to make this cake. He should not be obliged to this in his bakery, “As a creative professional and a businessman, I shouldn’t have to give up my freedom-my religion- when I open a bakery.” (denverpost.com) The cake for the same-sex wedding would be celebrating something contrary to his understanding of biblical teaching. His religious beliefs would not allow him to do anything to do with same-sex marriage. His freedom of religion and ethical beliefs would be flouted upon if he is forced to create this cake.
The judgment made on this case gives Jack Phillips the right to make the cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins. The Supreme Court sided with Jack as shown in an article by nytimes.com. “But the supreme court has in recent years been exceptionally receptive to free speech arguments, whether pressed by churches, corporations,...And it has ruled that the government may not compel people to convey messages they do not believe.” Many smaller courts have heard this case, nonetheless, the Supreme Court has the final ruling. It was argued that Jack violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Law however, he often declined cake offers. ”Phillips regularly declines opportunities to create cakes for events that violate his convictions including Halloween cakes, Anti-American cakes, adult-themed cakes, and more.” This illustrates he was not discriminating towards them. The Judgement made by the Supreme Court allows him to refuse to make the cake.
In the United States individual’s several rights are guaranteed and protected to us unlike places like North Korea, Libya, and Cuba. When an issue arises concerning an individual’s rights it starts a conversation. The dispute concerning the Colorado baker sparked controversy since some view his actions as discriminating while others felt his rights were going to be infringed upon if. He had the right to refuse because of the First Amendment, ethical beliefs and the judgment made by the Supreme Court. In this case, it would be unconstitutional to make him use his art form to express a message he does not agree with. It is very important to protect the freedoms of individuals that this great nation is known for.
25,000,000 children in the United States struggle with obesity; that is equal to one out of three kids. According to multiple sources, this is caused because students across the nation are being severed junk food in their schools. With this in mind, schools in the United States should ban junk food because it affects a child’s health, their future lifestyle, and leads to addictions.
School across the United States should ban junk food because it affects children's health. Nearly 300,000 people die each year from complications of being obese or overweight. According to Norton center Infographic, “70% of obese children have at least one risk factor for heart disease and 39% have at least two or more risk factor.” With this information, schools are poisoning a child’s chance of living a healthy life. Another example, Norton Center Infographic stated, “Today’s children will be the first generation since the Great Depression, projected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.” To clarify, with children being feed junk food almost everyday they are more likely to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. As a result of it will later affect a child’s future decisions.
Furthermore, schools should ban junk food because it affects children's future lifestyle. What children are fed in their childhood affects their eating habits as adults. As stated in Should states ban junk food in school? published by The New York Times UpFront-The Newsmagazine for Teens, “Poor eating habits developed at an early age lead to a lifetime of real health consequences.” With this in mind, having junk food in schools increases children’s poor eating habits. When these children become adults they will not know what healthy food choices are due to school providing junk food. Having junk food served at school increases obesity. The Norton Center Infographic, Childhood Obesity, informs us that, “43% of the US population will be obese by 2018.” With this being said, we need to think about the future of our nation. We need to influence our children to make healthier decisions in their diet. With junk food in school, schools are increasing the percentage of obesity in the US. These decisions can later on lead to addictions in their adult life.
Additionally, having schools with junk food available increases junk food addiction. The high calories, sugars and sodium that junk food contains causes kids to desperately desire it. The author of Salt Sugar Fat explained, ”...Some foods are purposely made with bland ingredients so that you crave more food or you just add enough sugar or salt until your mouth explodes with flavor.”He also gave an example of how puffy snacks melt quickly in your mouth making you desire more. Soon you will have had three bags that adds up to 450 calories and 750 milligrams of sodium. He then elaborated by revealing, “As far as sugary snacks, new research shows sugar may be just as addicting as crack.” If schools continue to have junk food easily accessible they are increasing and helping addictions. Schools should not let something as dangerously addicting as crack present. Some may argue that healthier food options are too expensive, but can you put a price on a child’s health. An article titled “Battle intensifies to keep junk food out of schools Lunch Room expressed,”As long as a bottle of water cost more than a soda and [food companies] market to lower income kids, obesity and diabetes rates will go up in those communities.”Although the healthy choice is often more costly, it is better to spend a little more for healthier decisions. Spending money on junk food may be cheaper now, but it can lead to expensive health complications. In the long run it is better to spend more and have healthier lifestyle. Junk food in schools should be banned because it can lead to a dangerous addiction.
Given these points, junk food threatens a child’s life. Therefore, schools in the United States should ban junk food because it affects a child's health, their future lifestyle, and leads to addictions. Would you like to see almost half of the population to be obese in 2018, which is less than a month away? Preventing junk food from being available at schools will decrease the percentage of obesity. These contribution may seem small, but will impact our future generations greatly.
Today’s modern society uses technology as if it is a close friend we can rely on. Google is one of the friends constantly being relied on for answers and useful information along with other search engines. Authors like Nicholas Carr, Peter Norvig, Genevieve Roberts and an infographic by onlinecolleges.net have explored the topic of “Is Google making us less intelligent.” The presence of Google is negatively affecting the intelligence of society by changing one’s memory, misinforming people and restricting brain power.
The “Google Effect”, which changes the way information is stored and handled is negatively changing one’s memory. There have been may studies done to uncover the truth and, “A recent study suggests 90 percent of us are suffering from digital amnesia.” (Source B) Nearly all of the people in the present are ready to forget important information in the belief they can easily retrieve it through technology which is a phenomenon known as digital
amnesia. This amnesia has shown that 70 percent of parents do not know their children's phone numbers. In the scenario of an emergency like an earthquake most parents would not be able to contact their children on a payphone or another person phone since they do not have it memorized. Professor Betsy Sparrow has elaborated by explaining, “Our brains rely on the internet for memory in much the same way they rely on the memory of a friend...We remember less though knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found” Society has grown accustomed to using the web as an extension of one’s memory. The Greek philosopher Socrates foresaw this consequence when he complained that new technologies “will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls.” The “Google Effect” is actively changing the memories of today’s society and not in a positive way.
The information Google provides at our fingertips is not always true. In fact it is negatively affecting our intelligence by providing false information. An infographic by onlinecolleges.net shows how, “The internet is filled with incorrect information, which may lead to being misinformed.” While skimming articles and surfing the internet, we are constantly being misinformed. Many of us have a gullible friend who probably tends to fall for internet hoaxes or misinformation. They may be unintentionally helping the internet spread this false information to our communities. An article titled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” expressed that, “The net bombards us with messages and other bits of data and every one of those interruptions breaks our train of thought.” Whether the information provided is true or false, it is changing our mentality. Many people have heard someone tell us, “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet” and that is with good reason. It is often hard to detect false information however, it spreads the same as accurate information.Overall Google is negatively affecting our intelligence by creating confusion with false information it provides.
The internet has also started making it difficult for our brains to grow by restricting brain power. For instance, as author Nicholas Carr points out, “The fact is, you’ll never think deeply if you are always Googling, texting, and surfing.” Today we look for all our answers on Google, it has become first instinct to search up anything unknown. If a student has a question they would rather Google it then, discuss it with their peers, go to the library, or deeply think about it. Another article by the title of “Google Effect: Is technology making us stupid” expressed, “We’re missing the real danger...it’s through remembering we make connections with what we know, what we feel, and this gives rise to personal knowledge.. Many people are not creating deep, insightful connections, therefore we are not creating knowledge. Later in this article, they discussed a valid point that, no matter how many answers we Google, we will never be able to Google our way to brilliance. Brain power and intelligence will keep lessening if we rely on the web for all our knowledge. Some scholars may argue that today's technologies like Google “helps us live smarter.” In reality, the internet is creating more obstacles for today's society and is a disadvantage to our brain power. Search engines like Google are restricting our brain’s power to grow and form deep connections.
Technology like Google is a helpful tool modern society has but, it should not be relied on for everything. When we rely on the internet for knowledge there are significant consequences like how it changes one’s memory, provides inaccurate information and restricts brain power. There needs to be a balance between when the internet is relied on as a tool and when we use our brain power instead. This way society can take advantage of new technologies, however, they will not suffer the consequences.