Thursday, December 11, 2014

Order Above All Else

Arthur Miller writes in his introduction to The Crucible, “It is still impossible for man to organize his social life without repressions, and the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom.” He was correct. In American society today, order is valued more than freedom.

In The Crucible, the town of Salem spirals into madness when someone cries witch. The order of their perfect puritan ways is disrupted, and when such a thing happens, the only logical thing to do is hang as many people as possible. The leaders of the town bring in officials who have had experience in trials and saving people from hell with the hope that everything will be pure once again and the devil will no longer walk among them. They put innocent people on trial and sentence them to prison or death. These actions show how when something drives a wedge into the order of society, people start to lose their freedom.

When the planes hit the twin towers, everything changed. The order of American life was completely uprooted. One result of this tragedy was that airports tightened security. Getting through security takes longer, the size of bottles of liquid allowed on the flight are smaller, and x-ray machines are used liberally, and racial profiling leads to false suspicion. Although these measures are taken with the goal to keep all flights safe, they prevent people from traveling as freely as before the scramble to maintain order began.

The American people of today’s society are proud of their freedom. However, that freedom becomes limited when the importance of order is held above all else.

1 comment:

  1. There is always a side effect to all changes. I think that the increased order and reduced freedom to protect people is important, but it easy to go too far and restrict rights.