The Crucible Danforth Analysis

Danforth Act III
Division into two apparently mutually
exclusive and opposite parts.
i.e. Black and White, silence and noise, good
and evil, East and West.
 You
must understand, sir, that a
person is either with this court or
he must be counted against it,
there be no road between. This is
a sharp time, now, a precise
time—we live no longer in the
dusky afternoon when evil mixed
itself with good and befuddled the
world. Now, by God’s grace, the
shining sun is up, and them that
fear not light will surely praise it.
Purpose- To state Danforth’s views of right and
wrong. To defend the court and its proceedings
against John and Giles’ objections.
Wider theme- Relates to ideas of good and evil,
also the effects of living in a theocratic society.
Symbolism- Light (They held the in their steady
hands the candle that would light the world)
associated with the puritan belief that they
represent God’s goodness. Light = God; Dark =
the Devil. Danforth is stating a view that there
exists a dichotomy between god and evil; that they
are two mutually exclusive ideas. This opposed to
the mixing of good and evil in ‘dusky afternoon’.
What does this reveal about his character and
situation: He sees the world in black and white.
Everything and everyone belongs to either God or
the Devil. The court and government of
Massachusetts belong to God. Thus, anyone who
opposes the court’s activities cannot be an honest
opponent. In a theocracy, one cannot have honest
disagreements because God is infallible. Since the
court is conducting the witch trials, anyone who
questions the trials is the court’s enemy. From
there, the logic is simple: the court does God’s
work, and so an enemy of the court must,
necessarily, be a servant of the Devil.