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The Crucible

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The Paradox of the Salem Tragedy

CRUCBL-9EMKI4

Miller writes:

The Salem tragedy, which is about to begin in these pages, developed from a paradox. It is a paradox in whose grip we still live, and there is no prospect yet that we will discover its resolution. Simply, it was this: for good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies.

It was forged for a necessary purpose and accomplished that purpose. But all organization is and must be grounded on the idea of exclusion and prohibition, just as two objects cannot occupy the same space. Evidently the time came in New England when the repressions of order were heavier than seemed warranted by the dangers against which the order was organized.

The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom.

What sentence from the passage best represents the paradox Miller is expressing?

A

"Simply, it was this: for good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies."

B

"Evidently the time came in New England when the repressions of order were heavier than seemed warranted by the dangers against which the order was organized."

C

"The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom."

D

"The Salem tragedy, which is about to begin in these pages, developed from a paradox."

E

None of the above