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Red Herrings In The Crucible

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Amanda Nweke

on 2 October 2014

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Transcript of Red Herrings In The Crucible

Red Herring
What is Red Herring?
The kind of fallacy that introduces a new idea into an argument that is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand in an attempt to divert an arguer from his argument.
Examples of Red Herring
Mother: It's bedtime, Jane.
Jane: Mom, how do ants feed their babies?
Mother: I don't know, dear. You need to close your eyes now and go to sleep.
Jane: But mama! Do ant babies cry when they're hungry?
Miller writes, "I am sick, I am sick, Mr. Proctor. Pray, pray, hurt me not" (Act II, 55).
Red Herring Fallacy
Committed by: Mary Warren
Red Herring Fallacy
Committed by: Mary Warren
Red Herring Fallacy
This is a red herring fallacy because Mary Warren is trying to deflect Proctor's questionings by bringing up the subject of her health, which had nothing to do with the subject at hand, and it worked.
Miller writes, "I made a gift for you, Goody Proctor. I had to sit long hours in a chair, and passed the time with sewing" (Act II, 56).
This is a red herring fallacy because Mary Warren is turning the topic away from the subject at hand (her work habits), and onto a gift that she had made for Elizabeth, to avoid further talk of the subject.
Miller writes, "-and here's a wonder for you; think on this. Goody Good is pregnant!" (Act II, 59)
This is an example of a red herring because Elizabeth and Proctor are trying to prevent Mary Warren from going back to court, and she twists the topic around by giving information that has nothing to do with the situation at hand to distract the other two.
It is Jane's bedtime, but she keeps trying to distract her mother with questions about hungry ant babies so she can stay up longer.
Committed by: Mary Warren
Explanation of Fallacy
Full transcript