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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - John Proctor.

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Introduction

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - John Proctor The writer, Arthur Miller, wrote the crucible in 1953. Miller was born in New York on October 17th, 1915, and he has influenced the Broadway stage for several decades. Miller's plays usually deal with contemporary political and moral issues. He began writing plays whilst he was at the university of Michigan, where many of his dramatisations were awarded with prizes, for example, in 1937 one of his plays received an annual award. With first successes ('All my sons' and 'Death of a salesman'), Miller condemned the American idea of prosperity because he thought that only few could reach this without moral compromises. In The Crucible, he writes about the colonial witch hunts in Salem and implies a parallel to the investigation into communists in the McCarthy era. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, a young senator (Joseph McCarthy) was very concerned about communism in Eastern Europe and China. Because of his concerns, McCarthy accused more than 200 American citizens of being communists that had infiltrated the American government. Many people had their passport cancelled or were even jailed for refusing to give the names of other communists. During this time, there were few people in the press, who were willing to stand up to McCarthy and the anti-Communist 'machine', but comedian 'Mort Sahl and journalist Edward R. Murrow stood against McCarthy and helped to eventually get him removed from power. Arthur Miller, along with another 300 artists was blacklisted as communist sympathisers. This period of time is what made Miller decide to write a new tale on a parallel with the communist trials. ...read more.

Middle

Proctor: "It does, sir, it does; and it tells me that a minister may pray to God without he have golden candlesticks upon the altar." Hale: "What candlesticks?" Proctor: "................. But Parris came, and for twenty week he preach nothin' but golden candlesticks until he had them. I labour the earth from dawn of day to blink of night, and I tell you true, when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows - it hurt my prayer, sir, it hurt my prayer" etc Soon after the above declaration Hale questions the fact that only two of Proctors children are baptised, once again it is the fact that if he wanted his third and youngest child to be baptised, then it would have to be Parris who performed the service. This is something that Proctor does not want. This shows just how much Proctor does not like Parris if he will not even let him touch him in order to baptise him; Proctor: "I like it not that Mr. Parris should lay his hand upon my baby. I see no light of God in that man. I'll not conceal it." From this judgement, Proctor shows the reader that he does not trust Mr Parris from the start of the play. This could develop throughout the play. Proctor is willing to isolate himself from the church in order to prove his point. It is this that brings disapproval from others and gives his enemies a reason for charging him with witchcraft. ...read more.

Conclusion

during this meeting Proctor was trying to get Abigail to leave him alone, I think that deep down he still feels guilty about this. Elizabeth and Proctors relationship improves, when she is arrested for witchcraft, as Proctor focuses completely on trying to save his wife: Proctor: "I will bring you home. I will bring you soon." Elizabeth: "Oh, John, bring me soon!" Proctor: "I will fall like an ocean on that court! Fear nothing, Elizabeth." By the end of the play Proctor and Elizabeth's relationship is completely saved, as she now respects him for admitting to adultery and for dying to save the family name: Elizabeth: "[supporting herself against collapse, grips the bars of the window, and with a cry] He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him." Also by the end of the play I think that not only has Elizabeth forgiven Proctor for his affair, but also he has finally forgiven himself, which was the one thing that could not do: Proctor: "You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs." I think Proctor definitely changed because if he hadn't changed in the slightest, then I don't believe that he would have given his life up on principal and to save his name. He would have just signed the document. If you ask me my opinion, I say Proctors change of heart was a good change, that turned him into the hero of The Crucible, without a doubt! ...read more.

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