John Hale, from the Crucible
Dynamic, Reverend John Hale needs only this one word to describe him. That is what separates Hale from any other character in the Crucible, while most characters are entirely static, with the exception of Elizabeth. That is why I consider him to be the best, and most flushed out character in the Crucible. In this report I will describe and analyze the character of John Hale and try show why his is the best character in the Crucible.
In the first paragraph I will analyze the character of John Hale and describe what just makes him so dynamic. At the beginning of act one we only hear about John Hale and can only make judgment upon what is said about him. From that information given we can draw some conclusions about John Hale. First of all he is a just man, which never changes throughout the entire story. We can also tell that he is a self-taught “expert” on witches, and believes that anyone can fall under the control of Satan. It is a quote from John Hale in the Crucible that explains this “until an hour before the devil fell, God thought him beautiful in heaven”(858 Miller).
Now I will look later into the story and look into how Hale is slowly changing. Towards the end of the first act we finally get to see (or read) John Hale. Because of this there is some direct and indirect characterization by the author. We also get a look at Mr. Hales motives because of this. “Coming into Salem now, Reverend Hale conceives of himself much as a young doctor on his first callHis goal is light, goodness and its preservation, and he knows the exaltation of the blessed whose intelligence, sharpened by minute examinations of enormous tracts, is finally called upon to face what may be a bloody fight with the Fiend himself. (844 Miller). As you can see he is very adamant about finding whatever is wrong with the girls and purging them of the problem. It seems as if he knows that witches have had something to do with the way the girls have been acting. Soon after John Hale finds out about the girls dancing in the woods he becomes very curious about what is really going on, and has his first doubts about the girls. The doubts get larger throughout the story and increases allot when he first visits the home of John and Elizabeth Proctor. He soon realizes after John Proctor tells him about himself, his family, and the girls that they could be lying.
In this third paragraph I will explain his final change and how it is so much different from the John Hale we first meet in act one. In act three we meet a totally different John Hale who not only has his doubts, but also now is very much on the side of the accused. You can first tell the changes when John Proctor brings his servant Mary Warren to judge Danforth. During the scene you can tell he knows now that the girls are lying and he must do anything he can to see justice succeed. “I have this morning signed away the soul of Rebecca Nurse, Your Honor. I’ll not conceal it; my hand shakes yet with a wound! I pray you, sir, this argument let lawyers present to you” (869 Miller). Later when Elizabeth is forced to testify for her husband to see if he is telling the truth about him cheating on his wife with Abigail Williams. When she lies and says John Proctor did not you see another even more passionate John Hale striving to get the truth out about the girls. “Excellency, it is a natural lie to tell: I beg you, stop now before another is condemned! I may shut my conscience to it no more-private vengeance is working through this testimony! From the beginning this man has struck me true. By my oath to Heaven, I believe him now, and I pray you call back his wife before we-” (874 Miller). When the truth is silenced and John Hale and Elizabeth Hale are sent to prison, both sentenced he leaves. Soon after people plead for the release of John Proctor. So Danforth says if John Proctor can sign his name and say that he was in a pact with the devil. John Hale comes back to plead with John, and Elizabeth Proctor to tell a lie. “Goody Proctor, I have gone this three month like our Lord into the wilderness. I have sought a Christian way, for damnation’s doubled on a minister who counsels men to lie” (881 Miller).
In Conclusion, John Hale completely changes from one who seeks to damn those who have “bewitched” the girls that lay in silence: into a man that seeks the truth about the whole situation and looks to save the wrongly accused of witchcraft, some who he had condemned earlier himself. I have completed the thesis statement that I wrote in the Introduction and I have showed you how he is the most dynamic character in the Crucible. Now like me I hope you will also appreciate John Hale’s participation in the Crucible.
The Crucible-Arthur Miller