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How Does Arthur Miller Represent fear in Act 1 of the Crucible

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Introduction

How Does Arthur Miller Represent fear in "The Crucible"? In 1938 there was an organisation called "the House Un-American Activities Committee." In the 1950's Joseph McCarthy was made the chairman of this organisation and became paranoid with seeking out American communists & those who sympathised with them and punishing them harshly. This became known as the "McCarthy Witch hunt". In the 1950's Miller was bought before the committee to confess to signing a group of communist petitions. In Miller's mind this current situation in America was beginning to seem like the Witch Trials in Salem just two century's before. In effect Miller's play "The Crucible" is an allegory an allegory is a poem, picture or play with a hidden symbolic meaning. In this case the allegory is a play written for the inhabitants of America, and to give people a basic enlightenment of what McCarthy was doing in America in comparison with the Salem witch trials. In "The Crucible" Miller has compared the fear of being accused of being a communist by McCarthy with the Fear of being accused of being a witch in Salem, People were afraid of being accused of communism because the punishment was known to ruin people's names and records as well as being locked away for several years. ...read more.

Middle

Because of this he fears he may loose his job, because the puritan's will accuse him of harbouring witchcraft. Miller Seems to be representing fear through the characters by the way they act and speak, for instance when Revd. Parris is confronting Abigail about her reputation in the village her misleading appearance is revealed. I saw this by the way that she changed from the character of an innocent teenager into a Snappy and argumentative girl. Miller does this in the stage directions by giving the character a loud, snappy and aggressive voice in order to get her point across. Here fear is shown by Abigail's determination and aggressiveness towards her defence of a good name in the society. Her fear and aggression are shown again when she confronts the girls and intimidates them with her loud and powerful thus authoritative voice when she says "Look you, All of you!" This is said with power and emotion and therefore giving the audience a sense of her fear, because she is ordering the others to give false statements in her defence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fear is also represented in the line "It surely is a stroke of hell upon you". This is seen as fearful because "Hell" was seen as an extremely unpleasant place to be because it was a place of sin. It also suggests that Mrs Putnam has seen the truth about Betty's illness and that it is the devil's work because there is no other solution. In Salem religion plays a leading role in the lives of the puritan villagers. If somebody did not believe in or follow god they were seen to be corrupt and in league with the Devil, this means they could be hanged. Because religion was so important in their lives it was seen as disrespectful to God to sing or dance outside of church. In the play accusations suggest that the person making them is either scared or fearful. The reason I think this is because, by the girls making accusations they are trying to draw attention away from their own wrong doing because they fear they could be whipped. The audience can sense fear and insecurity because their voices are loud unexpected and draw attention ?? ?? ?? ?? Nathan Merryweather 1 5/11/08 Candidate Number: 22305 ...read more.

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