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Conflict Rises From Power

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Conflict is about power; it results from struggles to maintain or gain power

The need for power is a reality of life; to use or abuse, to claim or deny, own or disown. However the struggle many go through to gain that feeling of control and power can lead to inner turmoil and conflict between others and one self. Set in the times of the tragic witch trials The Crucible is a drama that shows power resting on moral, legal and religious dynamics that lead to inner, social and religious conflicts. Marking Time an ABC miniseries explores the inner conflict of Hal as he struggles to maintain his power by being with a group he does not really fit into, it also shows how the youth of society challenge authority which leads to social conflict between the two groups. Lord of the Flies a novel by William Golding about the savageness in all innocence and explores the concept of fighting for power to gain status and attitude. Power can be gained, won and fought for but the struggle for it can cause inner, social and religious conflict is explored in all three texts some the concept more clearer than others.

Arthur Miller explores characters that manifest social and religious conflict initiated by the struggle to maintain and gain power from authority in a set community, Salem. Miller portrays the priests and judges in the crucible as that certain type of people that others will always be up against. During the Salem witch trials religion was very powerful and overruled many other things, so as a result of this, as shown in the crucible, the ministers and authority of the town were very powerful. Parris being a strong religious leader in Salem felt that no matter what, his authority needed to be kept. Parris believed that the church is the authority of all people in the town. Since he was a Reverend, he considered himself an authoritative figure and by commanding people he maintained his power. Parris challenges John Proctor's love for god when he says he has failed to "plough on Sundays", but Proctor perceives Parris as a mercenary hypocrite "distressed by golden candle sticks". Social conflict weaved with some religious conflict is portrayed in this scene and Proctor's outburst of "it hurt my prayer" shows the depth of his emotional feelings against Parris. Proctor does not like authority, and since Parris talks as though he is an imposing figure, Proctor has an issue with this. Parris demands that the people of Salem be obedient to the church and to him. He says that if they are not obedient, then they will "burn in hell". He does not leave much room for people to live their lives other than by what the church dictates and this creates social and religious tension between the authority of the town and the people. The ministers use the court and legal systems to gain power "how dare you come raring into this court", using the court environment to gain and feel power.

Marking Time has the struggle for power but it's not as evident as The Crucible as it clearly doesn't show it. Hal's suffers a lot of inner conflict from the fact he does not fit in with his "gang". He tries to gain power in his society by hanging around a group of friends considered to be "cool" and the people that do activities that include getting drunk and smoking illegal drugs. Shown by the effective voice over of Hal, we can see he faces great inner conflict as he does things "he does not really want to do" as its his only way of gaining power. The younger people in the society try and gain power by changeling the authority by breaking the rules. This is shown when they take drugs and burn a car on an open golf course. They also challenge authority and gain power as a result when they kill an elderly resident's cat, and when empathy is shown in this scene this shows the power they have gained. This is one difference to the crucible, changeling or going against authority in the times of the crucible could have you hung and it was hard to get away with it, but in marking time the young people seem to get away with it.

Gaining power, whether it be for revenge or just for the sensation, can make someone commit things that's not usually their set character. Abigail's obsession for John compels her to seek demonic power to get him away from his wife. She is clearly exposed as a bad character in The Crucible she tells lies, influencers other girls and the entire town, and in the end sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths. Miller shows us how much power a sole individual can have when that person defines the ideologies or beliefs by which they live. Abigail was motivated by lustful vengeance, she wanted Proctor back and this made her want power. Proctor clearly not wanting her back "I will cut off my hand before a reach for you again" motivates Abigail in wanting more power. Getting attention is one way Abigail gains power or feels powerful, Miller user's dramatic impact were Abigail goes into hysterical outbursts. The yellow bird incident in the courtroom is a clear example of Abigail user's attention to gain power over the situation. This need for power causes conflict between Abigail and many other character especially Proctor.

From the outset of the play Mary Warren is perceived to be a timid and weakest character as shown when Proctor sends her home

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