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Fallacies in The Crucible

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Mackenna Wollet

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of Fallacies in The Crucible

Fallacies in The Crucible
Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning
Definition: Asks the readers to simply accept the conclusion without providing real evidence; the argument either relies on a premise that says the same thing as the conclusion or simply ignores an important assumption that the argument rests on.
Appeal to Fear
One example of appeal to fear is in act three where Abigail, afraid of where her accusation of being a whore is going, claims to see a yellow bird in the court room (114-116).
Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning
Appeal to Fear
Appeal to Fear/Scare Tactics
Definition: When fear, not based on evidence or reason, is being used as the primary motivator to get others to accept the idea, proposition, or conclusion
This example of Martha Corey defending herself as not being a witch is an example of begging the question/circular reasoning. This is because she claims not to be a witch for she does not know what one is.
Example From the Play:
At the beginning of act III, Harthone asks Martha Corey if she is a witch. In response, Martha Corey claims that she is not a witch, saying that she knows not what a witch is (83-84).
This example is begging the question because Abigail bases her conclusion of not being a witch on the assumption that she is a good girl. In order for her to not be a witch, her being a good girl has to be true.
In Act I on page 43, Hale questions Abigail if she sold herself to Lucifer. In response, she claims that she did not sell herself because she is a good, proper girl.
This is an example of Appeal to Fear because Abigail is using the courtroom people's fear of supernatural beings and witches to get them to believe that the witch accusations are true. In addition, Abigail later claims that the apparition is Mary, sending her spirit out in order to make Mary stop speaking the truth.
In this scene Abigail uses Appeal to Fear by pretending that a strong, cold wind is afflicting her and the other girls. She uses fear as the primary motivator in getting people to believe that she is being honest.
Created By:
Jacob Stanley
Mackenna Wollet
Emily Feese
Cristina Perez Lopez
Danielle Watkins
Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning
The second example of Appeal to Fear is in act three when Abigail shifts the court's attention to a "cold wind" that suddenly appears in the court room. She does this to stop the questioning of her honesty (109-109).
Committed by: Martha Corey
"I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is." (The Crucible 3.83)
Committed by: Abigail
"I never sold myself! I'm a good girl! I'm a proper girl!" (The Crucible 1.43)
Committed by: Abigail
"Why-? Why do you come, yellow bird?" (The Crucible 3.114)
Committed by: Abigail
"I- I know not. A wind, a cold wind, has come." (The Crucible 3.108)
Full transcript