The Crucible

  • Abigail relished in her newfound power when she starting controlling the fates of others through blame. Granted, Abigail had more than one issue going on during The Crucible, but, nevertheless, she was also primarily power hungry and obtained this power through others. She found out that she could control those around her who, for much of her life, had treated her as an outcast and an inferior. She used this as revenge, and in the process tasted that seductive, bitter-sweet serum that is power. She self medicated in order to ease her broken heart and unfortunately set herself spiraling down a path of lust for power.

"The scapegoat has always had the mysterious power of unleashing man's ferocious pleasure in torturing, corrupting, and befouling." - Francois Mauriac

"The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse." - Edmund Burke

The Village

  • The elder's simultaneously freed themselves and took the blame when they created and became "those who we do not speak of". They gained power over their villagers by being able to influence them through fear all the while appearing as if they were the good ones. They also accepted the blame for all the wrongs they had done by presenting themselves as the evil to be feared and hated within the village.


  • When "we" took his own individual blame and removed those of his brothers he freed himself and gave himself power which he had never before experienced. He stopped carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, which freed him from feeling needless guilt shame, and confusion. He also started carrying his own, individual guilt and decyphering between the two, which gave him power to create positive change in his life and in others. This is a unique example in my text connections because here the main character shows my philosophy statement in a new way. By making things better rather than worse with his acceptance and acknowledgment of guilt.

Gothicism (2 connections)
  • In Fall of the House of Usher, the brother and sister serve as one anothers' scapegoats. To either side, especially from the narrotor's point of view, it would appear as if the cause of the brother's or sister's grievances were their sibling. Usher appears to have gone insane from having only his sister as company for so many long years and his sister is dying from what appears to be the affliction of her brother. In truth, The House of Usher is to blame, and when it finally takes the blame as the death of the siblings, it crushes under its own weight and ends the manic, twisted nobility that is the Usher line.
  • In The Lottery, the people have, and apparently for centuries, always solved their problems and kept society progressing forward by blaming someone every year. This person, whether willingly or not, serves as the scapegoat for the entire town and the release of their pent-up malice and bile by being stoned to death. This action, morbid as it is, is acceptable because it establishes peace in order in the village by allowing the sorts of criminal acts it forbids. It allows the people to accept that they are guilty of killing one of their own, but also allows them to feel innocent; because, of course, they had nothing to do with chosing who got to be stoned - it was all chance.

  • In the romantic poem The Goblet of Life.doc by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the narrator blames all his grievances against life - it's bitterness, it's pain, it's remorse, it's darkness, on the fennel in the goblet. The fennel, here, becomes a character in this game of life, and it serves as the character who does not deny it's fault in the bitterness of life. However, like with The Village and Anthem, the fennel is a central part to life. For without it's bitterness the world would not know the sweetness and sincerity life holds. It is a painful essential to truly living our lives instead of merely survivng them.


  • Trancendentalist Chris McCandless decided to leave society and
    A lovely shot of the place where Thoreau graciously sat and thought out all the world's problems
    A lovely shot of the place where Thoreau graciously sat and thought out all the world's problems
    go live on his own in the Alaskan Wilderness in order to find adventure on his own. He was trying to transcend that reality which he had come to accept as his life and find something new, exciting, and adventerous which better defined him. His scapegoat, and in this case a scapegoat that freed him and allowed him to accomplish what he felt he needed to, was societal norms. By blaming whatever inner problems he had on societal norms, he gave himself power and freedom to displace himself from others and accomplish his own sort of "coming of age".
  • Thoreau, in his famous work Walden, seperates himself from society as well. He, likewise, places the blame on society. But not in particular societal norms, society itself. Also unlike McCandless, he places a different blame on it; a blame not of his own inner battles, but a blame of everything that has gone wrong in the world. He places the blame for the downfall of the human race and society directly onto human society. Oh, the irony. By doing this, he seperates himself from the rest of society as their single hope. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he really doesn't care enough to actually try and change things, no no no, that would be beneath him.

  • In his autobiography Benjamin Franklin correctly labels his scapegoat for his moral imperfections as his moral imperfections and strives to perfect himself through a virtue chart. In some ways, Franklin has come to terms with his imperfections; he has at least acknowledged them, but in others he still comes across as in denial. This is most clearly illustrated through his seemingly undaunted search for perfection. Yes, changing oneself and trying to be the best you can is admirable, but frankly he is blinding himself to the fact that everything is imperfect and none of it can ever become perfect. Still, he trys on, even explaining in great detail exactly why this should work. Really he is obtaining power through micro-managing his life because he knows he fails so miserably at being perfect. Funny how that works out. He makes himself guilty as charged, but also frees himself from further guilt and shame by disassociating himself with flaws and instead associating himself with attempted perfection.
Frederick Douglass
  • Slavery, not only in the Southern United States, but world-wide as well, is a perfect example of using scapegoats as a road to power. The slaves were the scapegoats for the wealthy white . They forced all of their problems upon the slaves and used them as outlets for pent-up anger, agression, hatred, sorrow, and persecution. The white southerner felt they gained power by treating fellow humans beings as lower than animals and used this power to help them gain more slaves and therefore more wealth. If one were to take away the South's slaves, the southern economywould have collapsed, as well as the southern social structure. Their society, like every other one in the world, had become dependent upon using scapegoats as a path to power.