Justice has this invisible string that ties itself with mercy and forgiveness. In The Crucible, there are a lot of innocent people who die due to false accusations that don’t receive any justice from the Salem court. They were sentenced to death because of accusations of them being witches and practicing witchcraft. They were killed without having any definite evidence that proves the court’s claims. Justice often quarrels between law and people’s rights. Real justice will not occur if there’s no mercy. With no mercy, people are going to forget how to be kind and forgiving. As seen with multiple characters, justice is difficult to achieve without having mercy and forgiveness.
There’s a lot of definitions that can fall under the word justice. It can be defined as lawfulness or rightfulness. In The Crucible, justice here focuses more on the lawful side as Danforth, the Deputy Governor of the Province, decides the punishment for people’s actions. When the rumor of witchcraft started to spread around, the “town’s gone wild.” They’ve been putting innocent people in jail without any proven evidence. If those who got taken away don’t confess, “the court has the power to hang them.” When Giles’s and Proctor’s wife get taken away, they try to prove their innocence and ask the governor for real justice. They fail because Danforth won’t “accept no depositions,” which sounds pretty ironic because he’s supposed to let people speak, have their perspectives, and listen to what they have to say to the court. This only proves that in the process of attaining justice, with or without having your rights, it’s hard to question what kind of power the law and having an authority holds since they can pretty much do anything to you and decide for you whether you like it or not.
Justice without mercy equals brutality plus cruelty. It creates conflict and chaos between individuals. In The Crucible, Danforth doesn’t show mercy towards the people in jail and those who are trying to free them. Since he has a narrow-mind, people have trouble fighting for justice because he “accepts no depositions” and “judges nothing,” which means he likes to stick with his principles and doesn’t let others have a chance to speak out their side of the story. Everyone thinks it’s an injustice not to be able to give a statement to prove their innocence. They find it unfair that Danforth doesn’t take any “single plea for pardon and postponement.” Characters like Giles Corey and John Proctor ended up losing their lives while fighting for justice and truth. People who fight for justice won’t win since the government favors the law more than people’s rights. In order for justice to be achieved, mercy must exist.
When mercy and justice fail to correspond with each other, it affects individuals who declare and seek justice. It transforms people and it changes their minds. In The Crucible, an example of this is Danforth thinks that Proctor’s “extravagance in defense of his wife” is only a part of his tenderness. However, that’s not the case because he is telling the truth and the governor just doesn’t wanna believe any of it. Another example is when Proctor and Abigail commit adultery. Even though they both contributed to this deed, only one of them got punished for it. It’s discriminatory how Danforth forgives Abigail, but sentences Proctor to death. This shows that having too much pride and power can result in forgetting how to forgive and reconsider other people’s mistakes.
As shown above, there’s no doubt that real justice can’t possibly happen if it wasn’t for mercy and forgiveness. All of them are linked together and work with one another. The world is cruel and unfair, so there will always be some kind of injustice in life. Things might not be in the direction you want them to go; they can either follow a straight path or a curved path. There are times when people don’t receive the justice they asked for, but it all happens for a reason. Bad things occur to teach us a lesson and to balance out our life decisions. Even with all these things considered, blessings still come to those who wait.