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"It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen." - Aristotle



There are many different opinions for how people should keep good citizen status as well as how to use a scapegoat. In some cases, like Marilyn Manson, the person would like to be the scapegoat for all the crazy things that people in this world do! And for others, like in The Crucible, no one wants to be blamed for anything out of the oridinary that goes on. Another member of society, H.L. Mencken, agrees with the town of Salem in his quote, "And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps". Everyone wants to keep themselves out of trouble with the law or the people whom they have to live with everyday, which creates a cycle when one does something a little out of the ordinary. In the cycle, one particular method to get out of trouble is by finding a scapegoat, or someone to blame for all one's problems.

Another quote I found that I felt really connected to my philosophy was said by Rod Serling, who explained that "the tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices -- to be found in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own -- for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone". When I first read the quote, I felt that it was really wordy and didn't relate much to my own philosophy of evil and scapegoats and the like. But when I began to re-analyze it, I found MUCH more meaning than before. While Serling mentions the tools of conquest, I believe he is talking about the courage, skills, and literal tools to find the truth of what is unknown. Then he notes that it is not necessary to fix all problems with war or coercive force. When past internal knowledge is present, it is also harder to accpet te truth or use the facts of only what you see. In the case of the book, the characters are blind to seeing anything but what will help themselves. They use black prejudice against Tituba, previous actions against Abigail, and devil-related assumptions against John Proctor. In all of those situations, they are trying to find the scapegoat that best suits the situation, ultimately keeping themselves free of any issues that could come up against their own reputation.

Every citizen has a scapegoat; whether it be a person, thing, idea, or issue, that is used when problems arise to keep their honest reputation under the government's control.



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