What are the traits that make a person a good friend? Is one trait the power to conjure spirits by singing songs in Barbados? What about the ability to manipulate almost the entire town of Salem? In the book, The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, there are many characters one might want as a friend, and many one might not want as a friend. One of the characters that I think would make a good friend is Reverend Hale. Reverend Hale is a very interesting character that comes from out of town to help Salem regain order after the first few accusations of witchcraft surfaces.
He takes it upon himself to sniff out anyone or anything that might have something to do with witchcraft. Hale gets to see firsthand some of the most defining events that occur during the Salem witch trials. I believe that Reverend Hale, although his zealous tendencies cause him to jump to conclusions at times, would make a good friend due to his intellect and reasonable way of thinking. Although I believe that Reverend Hale would make a good friend, his zealous nature is less than desirable. Hale often displays zealous behavior toward the witch hunt which makes im jump to swift conclusions about who is guilty of witchcraft, and who is not.
This trait makes him disregard his gut instincts and first impressions. An example of Hale’s zeal is when he learns about Rebecca Nurse being mentioned in the court. He confesses his doubt of Rebecca ever being involved in witchcraft, and he even says, “God forbid such a one [Rebecca] be charged” (61). However, rather than seriously oppose the claim, he allows her to be taken, questioned, and eventually charged, despite his doubt. In the second act, when Hale is questioning the Proctors, John asks Hale if he had ever thought that Abigail ere to blame for all of the unfortunate events.
The staging in the book states, “It is his [Hale’s] own suspicion, but he resists it” (64). This quote is a clear example of Hales’ zeal, because despite his own suspicion of Abigail, he refuses to consider her potential guiltiness much further because he assumes she is innocent. Rather than pursue someone who is mostly seemingly innocent, he would rather look for someone who has more evidence against them. Therefore, he is willing to overlook Abigail. Later in the story, during the trial Hale admits, “I believe him [John Proctor]! This girl [Abigail] has always struck me false! (106).
This quote shows Hale’s zeal for finding witches, because he is so focused on questioning the Proctors that he disregards his suspicions of Abigail. By the time Hale finally decides to speak up about his suspicions of Abigail’s guilt, the court is already in session. There is not enough time for Hale convince Danforth to greatly consider Abigail as the cause of all the commotion. I would hope that a friend of mine would be more trusting and take the time to seriously consider their actions before doing something drastic or rash.
Despite Reverend Hale’s zeal and reluctance to express his opinions, he is a very intelligent man and would make a good friend. Intelligence is in important trait for a friend to have if you are interested in ever engaging in deep or enlightening conversations;. Another reason why is sometimes beneficial to have intelligent friends is when you need help seeing things from a different point of view. The story offer several examples of Hale’s intelligence. When Hale is first introduced, his description call him an “intellectual” and a “man of learning” (30-31).
This shows that that author of the story views Hale as a smart man. Another way we can be sure that Hale is in fact a very intelligent man, is by the opinions of others. Giles, confused about why his wife is reading books says to Hale, “Mr. Hale, I have always wanted to ask a learned man– what signifies the readin’ of strange books? ” (37). This quote shows that even the local townspeople are aware Reverend Hale’s intellect. Despite Giles viewing Hale as an intelligent man, one may argue that Hale only seems intelligent by comparison, for Giles is not known for his intellect.
However, even Danforth, the experienced judge of large and important matters refers to Hale as a “man of such terrible learning” (92). It is obvious from this quote that Hale is an intellectual man and would probably carry on very interesting conversations as a friend. Another trait of Hale’s that leads me to believe that he would make a good friend is his reasonableness. Though he has a tendency to jump to conclusions about a few things, Hale is a fairly reasonable person. For example, when John asks Reverend Hale why he had come, and if the court sent him, Hale esponded, “I come of my own, without the court’s authority” (60).
Hale decides that rather than solely listening to the accusations of the Proctor’s guilt, it would be more reasonable to question them personally so that he can formulate his own opinions of them. Another example of his reasonableness is when he tries to keep the trial against the Proctors fair. During the trial, Elizabeth lies to the court and says John is not a lecher. The Judge then jumps to the conclusion that John is guilty. Hale intervenes and says, “Excellency, it is a natural lie to tell; I beg you, stop now before another is ondemned! ” (105).
This shows Hale’s reasonableness by showing his desire to keep the trial fair. Because John and Elizabeth’s stories do not match completely, the judge assumes they are guilty. In the quote, Hale tries to convince the judge that it is natural for Elizabeth to make that lie in order to protect her husband’s good name. This is a reasonable thing for Hale to say, because Elizabeth did in fact tell this lie in order to protect her husband’s good name. During act four, John Proctor signs a document saying that he confesses his sins of being involved with the devil.
John then takes the document back and pleading with the court to not hang it upon the church. Hale says, “Excellency, it is enough he confesses himself. Let him sign it, let him sign it” (131). This shows that Hale is reasonable enough to realize that Proctor confessing to the court should be enough proof that he is repentant. Unfortunately, Danforth disagrees. It’s always good to have a reasonable friend to help you stay grounded and keep you out of danger. Despite his zealous tendencies, I believe Reverend Hale would make a good friend due to his intellect and his reasonable way f thinking.
Although I think he would make a good friend, his zeal causes him to jump to conclusions at time. Hale is a very intellectual man and does everything he can to help out the town with his knowledge. He often uses reason to try and help the court stay unbiased, and help those he believes are innocent. He is a good guy with many good traits and qualities which lead me to believe that he would make a good friend. Out of all of the characters presented in The Crucible, Reverend Hale is the one I believe I would get along with the best.