In this page I will explore several other sources we analyzed in class that relate to The Crucible and my personal philosophy statement that good people do not always do what the government tells them to. The sources I will be looking at are the film The Village, Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorn, and A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and connections I made between them and my personal philosophy statement. To get information or a copy of the text, click on the links. Later I also added some connections from later class activities.

The Village

The film The Village illustrates a story of hope and determination. In the film, the main character, a girl named Ivy who is blind, falls in love with a man from the village named Lucius. Their village is surrounded by woods, and the village inhabitants are forbidden from crossing the boundary lines because horrible creatures lurk beyond. Another man named Noah, who is mentally retarded, falls in love with Ivy. Ivy, however, is to marry Lucius. Upon hearing this, Noah stabs Lucius in an attempt to kill him so that he may pursue his love with Ivy. Ivy becomes so desperate to save Lucius's life that she is willing to leave the village boundary lines in search for medicine. The rest of the film follows her journey through the woods and also reveals the dark secret of the village.

The film The Village nearly parallels my personal philosophy statement that good people do not always do what the government tells them to. As stated in my letter, the government in my personal philosophy statement is not always the actually government. Rather it is any rule or authority figure. In The Village, the "government" role is played by the rules of the society. The most important rule in the village is that no one is to leave the boundary lines of the village and venture into the woods. However, Ivy chooses to do so anyway so that she may save the life of Lucius. On my homepage, there is a scene from The Village where Ivy's father explains her intentions in breaking the rules of the village. While Ivy disobeys the code of the village, her intentions make her a good person. Ivy's father says justifies Ivy's journey because she has hope. I believe that because Ivy's intentions were for good (to save Lucius), she is still a good person despite breaking the rules.

////Young Goodman Brown////

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, tells the story of Young Goodman Brown and his encounter with the devil. The story takes place in Salem village, most likely around the same time period as the Salem witch trials. The story begins when Young Goodman Brown leaves his wife, symbolically named Faith, and embarks on a journey through the dark forest. There he meets a very disturbing man who he later finds out to be the devil. He travels with the devil through the woods and they eventually meet a woman who is presumably a witch. Young Goodman Brown then participates in a strange ceremony with the witch and the devil, all while struggling within himself to stop doing what he knows is wrong. In the end, Young Goodman Brown wakes up, only to realize his journey was only a dream.

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts an excellent image of my philosophy statement that good people do not always do what the government tells them to. The role of "government" in Young Goodman Brown, is, like The Crucible, played by the Puritan Church. One particular annotation I made regarded a quote from Goodman Brown just after he had participated in the strange ceremony with the devil. Goodman Brown yells, "Faith! Faith! Look up to heaven, and resist the wicked one" (Hawthorne 9). Here I made a very clear connection between my personal philosophy statement and this story. By taking part in the obscure ceremony with the devil, Goodman Brown obviously violates the rules of the Puritan Church. However, when he yells this statement, he illustrates his recognition for his wrong doing. He is yelling this to himself, saying that he must find the faith he knows exists within him and resist the devil. Despite his near alliance with the devil, because Goodman Brown was able to recognize that what he did was wrong, and by re-establishing his own loyalty to the Puritan Church, I believe he is still a good person.

//A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings//

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells a fictional story about an angel who is trapped on Earth. In the story, a husband and a wife discover an old, dilapidated angel on their property. The angel is old and weak, yet his enormous wings fascinate the husband and his wife. They trap the angel and keep him as though he were a pet. Seeing the angel as more of a profit rather than a soul, the husband and wife begin to charge local townspeople to see the angel. The townspeople are cruel to the angel and torture him until he is nearly killed. Eventually, another supernatural creature is discovered in the area and the angel loses popularity amongst the townspeople. The husband and wife begin to lose their once plentiful profits and settle in their newly acquired magnificent home they purchased with their money. After several months pass, the husband and wife decide to free the angel. The angel gained enough strength over time that, in the end, was able to fly away, back to heaven.

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez reflects a rather blurred image of my personal philosophy statement that good people do not always do what the government tells them to. The "government" in this story, I believe, is played by the moral values of the husband and the wife. Obviously it is not moral to enslave another being and use them as an attraction to earn money, yet the husband and the wife did so anyway. One reoccurring annotation I made throughout this piece was how these people could still be good people despite combating moral values. The only example I found in this piece where the husband and his wife exemplified a good person was when they finally set the angel free. Their goodness is even disputable here; however, I still felt that it was a good deed to release the angel from their horrible grasps. When the angel breaks free, the wife watches him fly away, "Elisenda (the wife) let out a sigh of relief, for herself and for him, when she watched him pass over the last houses" (Marquez 5). It was the sigh of relief that presented some goodness in the husband and the wife to me because this action seemed to depict respect for the angel. The husband and wife learned in the end that it was wrong to treat the angel the way they did, and this sigh of relief represents their gratitude and respect they have for the angel. Clearly while it is arguable that the husband and the wife are not good people because of their horrible treatment towards the angel, I believe in the end they learned from their mistakes, making them good people.

Our class explored many pieces of literature that connected to my personal philosophy statement. Other pieces we looked at include a newspaper article called Justice Denied, Little Red Riding Hood, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and Why I Wrote The Crucible (a piece written by Arthur Miller himself). I also wrote several summary responses and quick writes pertaining to The Crucible and made several comments on our class blog.


Here is where I will make some connections between my personal philosophy statement and several pieces of gothic literature we read in class. I will specifically adress gothic stories we read, but I will also adress particular elements of gothic literature we focused on.
//The Lottery//

The Lottery is a story that addresses my personal philosophy statement because of how the society functions. In The Lottery, each year, one member of the village is chosen to be stoned to death. The immediate reaction the people of our society have about a situation like this is that it is wrong and immoral. Therefore, the "government" in this story is being played by what our society in real life views as right and normal. The society in The Lottery goes against what we feel is right. However, does this make the people of this society bad? I do not believe so because the lottery is just a part of life in the society of this story. The people of this village have been doing this for so long that it seems natural to them; it is just a part of their culture. The people of this society do not feel that what they do is wrong because they have never learned otherwise. This is why I believe that the people of The Lottery can still be good people, despite their abnormal behaviors. This leads me to an element of gothic literature we discussed called the uncanny. The uncanny takes ordinary things and twists them so that they seem abnormal. In our society, we make certain assumptions and stereotypes of how things should appear. The uncanny twists those things to make them seem disturbing or wrong. Shirley Jackson, author of The Lottery, used the uncanny in the form of a lottery. We expect a lottery to be a positive thing; however, The Lottery twists it into a method of deciding who to kill. Uncanny elements in gothic literature cause us to instinctively believe those things are bad. However, just as in the situation of The Lottery, these elements are not necessarily bad.

The Fall of the House of Usher
The Fall of the House of Usher informs my personal philosophy statement because of the lifestyle of the Usher family and how the story addresses forces that cannot be controlled by people. In The Fall of the House of Usher, the Usher family is discovered to be inbred. This is considered to be abnormal in our society; therefore the "government" in this story is again played by what our society in real life views as right and normal. The Usher house had lived the same way for generations and considered their lifestyle normal because they never learned otherwise. This aspect of the story addresses the element of an outcast found in gothic literature. Outcasts are considered different and abnormal by the rest of society. The Usher family therefore can be considered outcasts. I do not believe they are bad people though for living their lives differently because they are simply living the same way their family had for generations. The Usher family had been inbred for generations, but it wasn’t the fact that Roderick Usher, the host of the house, was indifferent from the rest of society that made him a bad person, it was forces that were uncontrollable by him. In gothic literature, there is a common theme of insanity and evil. We find out that Roderick Usher is insane, but insanity is a mental illness, uncontrollable by Roderick. I believe that because he was unable to control his mental state, and therefore unable to control his actions, Roderick was not a bad person. The things Roderick did were truly evil and obscure, however, he had no control over the things he did because of his insanity. I personally believe that evil and insanity is something that takes over your soul, and its victim has no control over whether it takes over them or not. Evil and insanity took over the Usher house, two elements uncontrollable by the Ushers, and because these elements were uncontrollable, I do not believe they are necessarily bad people. I also believe they cannot be considered bad people for their lifestyle because, just as the people of The Lottery, they were only living the way their family had for generations.

This is where I will make a connection between an in class activity we did involving trancedentalism and my personal philosophy statement. The in class activity I will choose to connect with was a Fishbowl (a seminar) we had over the piece Resistance to Civil Government by Thoreau. To see the discussion, click on this link blog.

The Resistance to Civil Government fishbowl we had informs my personal philosophy statement because of a particular connection and annotation I made to Gandhi and his fight to gain India's independence. Resistance to Civil Government reminded me of Gandhi because of Thoreau's explanation of civil disobedience. Gandhi believed in satyagraha, a term he used to describe peaceful rebellion. Gandhi used methods such as boycotting British cloth, leading his famous Salt March, and by uniting the Muslims and Hindus in India to gain his nation’s independence. Gandhi ignored the laws of the British because he felt they were unjust. Just like Thoreau, Gandhi was sent to jail on several occasions and served all his time. In fact, Gandhi insisted that no one pay his bail so that he could serve his entire sentence. In this regard, Gandhi himself was a transcendentalist. However, clearly Gandhi's actions do not make him a bad person. Gandhi stood up for his beliefs and the belief of the people of India. He did so in a non violent way and accepted his punishment. I believe that because Gandhi resisted peacefully and served all of his punishment, he can still be considered a good person.


Here I will make a connection to my personal philosophy statement from a particular discussion we had during an opening activity over The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglas. In this particular discussion, we went over the role of trust in the life of the slaves. This particular discussion intrigued me, and I also made a connection to my personal philosophy.

Throughout The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglas, trust becomes a reoccurring theme. Trust is an interesting subject. You can trust an honest person to be honest, but you can also trust a dishonest person to be dishonest. In The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglas, the slaveholders trust their slaves to do as they are told, while the slaves trust that the slaveholders will be cruel. Douglas begins to trust other slaves that he lives with. He plots an escape plan with them, but after being caught, the other slaves trust in Douglass declines. Douglass then begins to plot his escape for freedom more independently. When he finally is able to escape to New York, he cannot trust anyone. Anybody could be an imposter seeking to bring slaves back to the South for a reward. In order for Douglass to achieve what he desired, he had to break trusts. He also gained and lost trust in others. I have seen this reoccurring theme throughout the literature we have read. In order to challenge the government, and to maintain the status of a good person, it is sometimes necessary to break trusts. In Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau broke the trust between himself and the government to pay his taxes. In The Village, Ivy had to break the trust between her and the society that she would not cross the boundary line. In The Crucible and Young Goodman Brown, Proctor and Goodman Brown broke the trust between themselves and their religion. The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglass has proven the point that it is sometimes necessary to break trusts to achieve the desired when resisting the government. All of these people remained good people even though they disobeyed their government. In some cases, the trust was regained to remain a good person (Goodman Brown), where in other cases, the trust was never renewed (Proctor). In either situation, trust plays a role in my personal philosophy statement that good people do not always do what the government tells them to.