Straw Man Arguments from The Crucible

The straw man fallacy occurs when person B takes
an argument from person A and refutes a related but
more susceptible argument in the place of the original
David Shircliff, Wesley Holloway, Gavin West
Universal Example
– Person A: We should liberalize the laws on
– Person B: No, any society with unrestricted
access to intoxicants loses its work ethic and
goes only for immediate gratification.
In this fallacy, person B took person A's argument and
attempted to refute it, but misrepresented "beer" as
"intoxicants" -- not all intoxicants are beer.
Straw Man in The Crucible
P. 180
Act I
Parris: "I am not used to this poverty...why
am I persecuted here?"
Mr. Putnam: "Mr. Parris, you are the first
minister ever to demand the deed to this
house --“
Putman, ignoring the direct question of
Parris’, attempts to refute Parris by
emphasizing something unrelated to Parris’
current situation. He brings up a legitimate
point that is degrades Parris’ argument
without being pertinent to the dilemma.
Straw Man in The Crucible
P. 233
Act IV
Hale: "You must pardon them. They will not
Danforth: "You misunderstand, sir; I cannot
pardon these when twelve are already
hanged for the same crime. It is not just.“
Danforth is the character who commits the
(straw man) fallacy. Danforth argues that
people have hanged already despite this
not being directly related to Hale’s original
plea. He twists the argument from the live
people to those he’s already condemned to
the gallows.
• Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. N.d.
Web. 13 April 2011
• Helen. “Teh Strawfeminist.”2007. JPG file.
• Van Der Breggen, Hendrik. “The Straw
Man Fallacy.” 2009. JPG file.
• Blogprof, The. “Obama Strawman.” 2010.
JPG file.
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