Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The Paradox of Order and Freedom
“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.” -Arthur Miller in The Crucible. In Arthur Miller’s book, he used the Salem Witch trials of the 1600s to relate to the present day issues of America at that time- specifically the Red Scare. Both these events demonstrated an imbalance of order and freedom in America. Arthur Miller’s statement still rings true today, because although we appear to have more rights than most others countries, our society still leans towards the order of authorities and along with it, unequal power and discrimination.
In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrays the events of the Salem witch trials and shows what can happen in an order dominated society. Many innocent people in Salem were put on trial and found guilty of witchcraft, simply because the government officials decided it was so. There was no real evidence of witchcraft, only fear and suspicions that got out of hand. There was no room for freedom in a society like Salem, where order and religion was overwhelmingly powerful. When Arthur Miller wrote this piece of literature in the 1960s, he related these issues to America during that time. The Red Scare and it’s conspiracies were exemplified by this play, along with all the inequality in the government during that time. Unfortunately, modern day America does not have a balance between order and freedom either.
The authorities and policemen of this country have been recently exposed for unnecessary police brutality and racial profiling. The “order” component of this country has been taking away innocent people’s freedom. One example of this is the events that happened in Ferguson, Missouri. A police officer shot an unarmed, non threatening black man multiple times and killed him. Not only this, but the police officer who killed him suffered no repercussions. If this doesn’t exemplify how corrupt and unequal our society is, then I don’t know what does.