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The Crucible.

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Introduction

English Coursework The Crucible The play The Crucible is set in Salem Massachusetts in the year 1692. The play is about a religious community persecuting innocent people under false pretences due to extreme paranoia. At the time Arthur Miller wrote the play it was during the period McCarthyism was occurring in America. This was when people were accused of being communist and in turn were hunted. Arthur Miller lived through the McCarthyism era and could not speak against it; otherwise he would have been accused of being communist. Writing The Crucible was a way for Arthur Miller to protest against McCarthyism without himself being branded and hunted. In this essay I will focus on one of the main characters, John Proctor, who is persecuted, and his response to two ministers and their suspicion of his faith. Proctor is a character who is not afraid to follow his own beliefs, disowning the members of the society who all go along with one thing although maybe not believing it is right. Proctor is in a room with his associates having a discussion and tires from hearing the word hell that so often seeps out of Parris's mouth. ...read more.

Middle

Proctor feels no need to disguise his personality, so as he is with others, he is with Hale, although he has just arrived. The reader sees that Proctor is not particularly bothered with what others have to say about him. During their discussion Proctor comes across as if he has heard enough of what he believes to be pretence and dismisses it. Proctors dismissive statement reads, "I never spoke on witches one way or the other." Although conveyed as being defensive towards Hale's question, Proctor still compliments him whilst maybe offending other characters. Proctor states, "I've heard you to be a sensible man, Mr Hale, I hope you'll leave some of it in Salem." By making this statement Proctor has left Hale feeling embarrassed through appreciation of the compliment as is seen in the stage directions. However there are more then two sides to Proctor. He appears to be a character with a split personality. Whilst under the courts influence, Proctor is very polite towards Danforth; it is almost as if he is on his best behaviour. Though Danforth dismisses most of Proctor's statements, Proctor does not react in the way he might have if it were another character. ...read more.

Conclusion

This conveys Hale's opposition to the courts decisions. Parris's reaction is the complete opposite of Hale's. Parris seems extremely pleased; it is as if justice has been done in his eyes. When accusations are made against Proctor, by Mary Warren (such as, "You're the Devils man.") Parris calls out 'Praise God' like it is something he had been trying to expose Proctor of since the beginning of the trial. Parris gives the impression of someone who has been trying to lead the town against Proctor and has now become successful. From these two very different reactions to Proctor's confession it is clear that Proctor's trial had more against him then for him. Hale who is an outsider had no successful input whereas Parris, who lives in the province and dislikes Proctor, is taken heed of. Conclusion; Through John Proctor, Arthur miller has portrayed a character that is strong willed, not afraid to do his own thing, and is extremely brave. This relates to Miller's comments on individuality because to be your own person these are just a few personal traits you need to have. In this essay I have explained Proctor's relationship with the two ministers Hale and Parris and their suspicions of Proctor's faith. To do this I have explained the relationship he has with them and their reactions to his confession in court. ...read more.

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