Wolves for Conformity

"The Crucible" by Arthur Miller

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

Carl Van Doren’s quote, “The race of men, while sheep in credulity, are wolves for conformity,” can be used to express ideas written in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. When a belief is stated, such as the belief in witchcraft within the play, people tend to blindly agree without sufficient evidence. Without thinking it through, people accept the belief no matter how ridiculous. This will create a calm and passive environment within the “herd” of people until a difference arises. Pleasant sheep will then transform into violent, aggressive wolves that fight the difference into submission, striving to keep the form and unity.

In The Crucible, John Proctor was one who would not confess to witchcraft. As he tried to convince the mistaken court into believing the children could be lying about witchcraft, he was attacked until he would agree with the crowd. The court would only believe that the children accusing him of witchcraft were correct and did not take time to logically think it through. Through this belief, they created a manner which would not accept difference. These wolves preyed upon their own flock, hoping to exterminate those who did not blindly follow.