Something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand; a misleading clue. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/red+ herring http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/red+ herring
The fallacy “red herring” can be found in the character, Red Herring, on the popular television cartoon, “A Pup Named Scooby Doo.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =Jm7SK3C_jp0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =Jm7SK3C_jp0 This is an example of red herring due to the fact that Fred blames Red Herring for something he had nothing to do with. He is basically using Red Herring as a Scapegoat to draw attention away from the real criminal, which he isn’t smart enough to uncover himself.
Proctor is explaining how his wife is a good woman and how Abigail had been lying the whole time. While he is explaining himself, Paris points out that Proctor doesn’t come to church on a regular basis, and how his son wasn’t baptized a birth. Pg. 225 This is a great example of red herring. The main focus of the trial is whether or not his wife, Elizabeth, is guilty of witchcraft or not. Paris, however, continues to point out that Proctor hardly ever shows up to church, which is not relevant to the situation at all, it just draws attention away from the main point to make Paris seem to be right.
The Crucible as a whole can be viewed as an example of Red Herring in terms of the witch trials themselves. This can be found in the fact that they blame any sort of craziness on “witchcraft.” This is red herring because modern people understand that witchcraft is not a matter that can be taken seriously. We understand that it is not a reality, and that it’s not something people should be executed for. Although they didn’t do this intentionally, it is still something that takes attention away from the real problem, that being that anyone who attempts witchcraft is foolish.