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A Change of Heart

            Religion has the capability to give protection and hope to people in fear. Some people however, hold so strongly to their beliefs that they lose human decency, allowing their commitment to cause suffering to those threatening their beliefs. While people will go as far as to kill for their faith, they also have the ability to see its corruption. This can be seen through many of the characters in The Crucible. One such character is the Reverend John Hale. His dedication to Christianity causes him to make ignorant decisions and accusations until He finally realizes the corruption in his faith and abandons it.
             When practicing his faith against the witchcraft in Salem, Hale can be seen causing suffering when persecuting Tituba. When Betty Parris, one of the many girls stirring up ideas of witchcraft, becomes ill, Hale is called in to examine her because of his expertise in the matter. When Betty awakens from her madness, a servant named Tituba is accused of causing the girls bewitchment. She is different from the others, making her vulnerable and an easy scapegoat for the girls causing trouble. While she is victimized, Hale stands by and watches her get beat, in order to force her to confess to witchcraft. Tituba confesses to witchery to end her suffering. Hale comments that, "Confessing to witchcraft speaks a wish to come to Heaven's side. We will bless you Tituba" (170). This seems to be a wise choice considering the fact that those who admit to witchery are saved from a death by hanging, while those who do not are thought to be lying and are executed. Hale was a man of a "peaceful" faith that could watch a feeling individual be beaten and persecuted in front of his eyes, because the people in Salem were so struck by fear, that they would beat and pressure a person like an animal, if it meant they would have safety and peace again.
             Later in the play Hale can be seen practicing his corrupt faith once more, through his questioning of John Proctor.

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