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Discuss how the two authors make literature from historical events.

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Introduction

Discuss how the two authors make literature from historical events The two authors focus on two very different times in history and depict, not only the historical periods in which the stories take place, but also the changing role of religion over time. Each text focuses mainly on religion; Arthur Miller uses the Salem witch trials, which were caused by intense religiosity and therefore, the events, go hand in hand. While Jane Rogers uses a major historical event as a backdrop for the goings on inside a religious sect. Because of the different ways in which the two authors use historical events to create literature, the structure of each text is different. 'Mr Wroe's Virgins' is random in the order of narrative voice; and although essentially chronological, there is no real sense of time. Whereas 'The Crucible' is very clearly chronological. Because of the nature of the text, there is therefore no need for repetition of one particular event. 'Mr Wroe's Virgins' is set during the height of the industrial revolution (1820s and 30s), a time of greatly productive factories and protest. Rogers details in the novel, the creation of unions and technological developments, for example gas power and trains. This time in history was a time of conflict and so religion carried high importance however diverse. Religion is the central theme of the novel and cites one religious sect in particular - The Christian Israelites (others mentioned are: Owenites, Quakers and Calvinists). John Wroe formed this sect in 1819 and brought it to Ashton in 1822. We are not told what happened in the three years before the Sanctuary was built and the virgins called, but this means that the reader ...read more.

Middle

Hannah is non-religious and also gives us a detached view of the prophet - whom she dislikes at first. She feels he's rude and that the sect is primitive in their customs, particularly the elders who "resemble tribesman". Hannah feels that she has been given "into the care of a lunatic band of would -be ancient Jews". Rogers also goes into some detail about how Wroe spread the word about the Christian Israelites to the surrounding areas of Ashton. He used the girls to draw attention by their strange dress and, Hannah shows the reader how much power and influence he had on people. Rogers probably could not have known whether he had a deep attractive voice or not but she would have known that many converts joined the Christian Israelites and it was his charismatic leadership that caused this. Rogers gave Wroe characteristics that she felt would fit this role and make him seem (as far as possible), as he probably would have been. These views give us a good idea of what was involved at the beginning of this historical event. Although Wroe may have completely believed that what he was doing had religious significance, but we also see that his ideas, particularly around the seven virgins were verging on the surreal. Rogers uses this event to create literature by using both fact and fiction, bringing events in history into view and giving the reader a greater understanding of them. Like Rogers, Miller focuses on certain characters, as there are many characters in 'The Crucible' some play a larger parts in disclosing the events than others. ...read more.

Conclusion

As she progresses towards becoming more 'human' she realises that she feels, "solid joys", this is a phrase from a hymn, which she understands because of the way she feels, and also when she acknowledges her changing from a "stone" and now has "life". Mr Wroe is evidently, very biblical, requesting the girls for "comfort and succour", meaning: assistance and support in hard times. Most of the language is fairly similar to modern speech, with similar sentence structure but more 'old fashioned' usage. Both writers use well-known historical events to create literature; and because they did not know all of the facts that went towards creating the particular historical event and so by adding their own touch of creativity they bring the events alive for the reader. Rogers knew most about Mr Wroe in terms of characterisation and historical background, however she does not focus on him. For the reader the novel revolves around the girls, but the girls' lives revolve around Mr Wroe. Roger's used her knowledge of Mr Wroe's life, for example his predictions over cholera and the use of trains to build up the story, but only gives Wroe's background in the Historical note. Miller also used knowledge of the witch trials to create his play with as much accuracy to many events as possible. The story of Abigail and John Proctor is true and although many people are not mentioned, due to the sheer number of them, "The fate of each character is exactly that of the historical model, and there is no one in the drama who did not play a similar - and in some cases exactly the same - role in history." (Word Count: 2796) Nicola Gaskin 1 ...read more.

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