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"Examine the changes that John Proctor and Reverend Hale go through as the play progresses and decide how Miller would want an audience to react to them at the end of the play."

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Introduction

"Examine the changes that John Proctor and Reverend Hale go through as the play progresses and decide how Miller would want an audience to react to them at the end of the play." "The Crucible" symbolises the events in 1950's America when anyone who was suspected of left wing views was accused of 'Un-American' activities. "The Crucible" was Miller's inventive way to criticise the paranoia surrounding a too conservative American government. After appearing before the committee numerous times to defend himself of suspected Communist activities, Miller used his pen the greatest weapon to confront the silly attacks purposed upon him. This essay will tell you the general background to the play? What the similarities are between 1690's Salem witchcraft trials and 1950's McCarthy America and most importantly how would Miller want an audience to react to Proctor and Hale at the end of the play? A crucible is a metal dish used to separate metals from its ore. A compound of metals would be inserted from one end and from the other end only the pure elements would come out, the remains would be poured elsewhere. A crucible can be compared with a tough situation or as life. When Proctor and Hale were put through the 'crucible' would they come out pure or as useless remains? "The Crucible" is a story of the events in 1692 Salem which led to the mass hysteria where witchcraft trials would decide the fate of many people. The play tells us about the events leading to 19 innocent people being killed due to false accusations. There was a real powers struggle at the time where the opinions or views of people with a higher status would be considered where as if you were of a lower status, were different or if you apposed to the status quo and you were accused of being a witch then you were finished. ...read more.

Middle

In Act 2 John argues with his wife because she asks him where he was and why he came back home so late. In those days he did not have to answer that question but he did and this shows that he is a reasonable man. However he also gets angry with his wife as he can also lose his temper really quickly. He gets angry with his wife because he claims that everything he has done after his affair with Abigail he did to please his wife but still she hold her doubts about him and doesn't forget what happened between him and Abigail. "Spare me! You forget nothin'. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral marches round your heart." (Act.2.pg.45.lines.16-20) but so far we are shown that Proctor has sinned and he has tried his best to make it up to his wife, even though he didn't have to. This tells us that he's a decent, kind and considerate man. Miller now wants the audience to totally feel that he is an excellent person as he tries to please his wife even though he didn't have to. As the ridiculousness of the court rises, Hale begins to oppose the actions it takes. For example, Hale pleads with Danforth, the judge, to let Proctor return to court later with a lawyer while he is being interrogated, and which Danforth rejects the idea. Danforth possesses the ultimate power of the court and the use of its laws; however, Hale for the first time fought against its powers. He realizes the unfair judgement the court is presenting and begins his objection to it. In addition, after Danforth falsely arrests Giles and Proctor of witchcraft, Hale quits the court: "`I denounce these proceedings! ...read more.

Conclusion

He states that "I have three children - how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?" He says if he is dishonourable to his friends then this would be stuck on his back along with his family's, so if he was to choose to lie, his children would not look up to their own father as a role model and he would not be remembered as a friend but as a foe. He shows dignity when he signs the confession and then later tears it up. This showed that he cared more about his belief than he did about his life. By not buckling under pressure, Proctor was able to refuse to give into Danforth's and Abigail's power of persuasion, which showed a great deal of dignity. Both Reverend Hale and John Proctor make changes throughout the play. Miller would want the audience to respect the bravery of the characters because this is a play based on events that really took place. He wants you to feel disappointed because Proctors death was a waste of a life. Proctor died a tragic hero and Miller wants the audience to feel sympathy and respect towards him. Miller wants the audience to accept proctor as being a good person overall. Proctor has a deeper meaning that is shown in the play. Miller was called several times before McCarthy's committee; possibly he resembles Proctor in a way because of how he stood up for himself just like Proctor did. Hale changed from being totally with the system to totally against the system the audience will respect his decision for doing so and acknowledge how hard this decision must have been at the time. These two characters were astonishing characters in their own right and were actually like normal people whilst most of the other characters were caricatures. Miller wants the audience to realise how this is an allegory of 1950's America, he wants the audience to realise that these things are still happening in today's times. Akeel chaudhry 11dl ...read more.

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