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The Crucible Coursework

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Introduction

The Crucible Coursework Arthur Miller was born on 17 October 1915, in New York City. He lived in Harlem until he was fourteen. His Dad was a clothes manufacturer but lost all his money in 1929 when the stock market crashed. Due to the economic depression, which followed, when Miller graduated from high school in 1932 there was no money to send him to university. He worked for two years as shipping clerk, earning money to get him to college. He applied to the University of Michigan in 1934 and graduated from there in 1938. He worked in a Navy Yard while writing for the radio. His first successful stage play was All My Sons which opened in 1947 and later a film was made of it. Following this was the even more successful Death of a Salesman, which opened in 1949. These plays were seen as an attack on capitalism and during the McCarthy era of the 1940's and 1950's there was a lot of hysteria surrounding the spread of communism. Senator Joe McCarthy was very anti-communist and was adamant that any communist activities in America should be stomped out and the perpetrators jailed. Although this seemed a good idea to some, McCarthy's policy was you either confess to be a communist, or give names of communists, or you would go to jail. ...read more.

Middle

Between pages forty-three and forty-six there is an exchange between Elizabeth and John, mainly about Abigail. This gives the audience additional information about the situation. "You come so late I thought you'd gone to Salem this afternoon." Elizabeth still suspects John is having an affair with Abigail, again giving the audience the impression of their separation. Page forty-six. Enter Mary Warren who has come from the court in Salem. She fills us in on background information, updates the audience, and acts as the harbinger of bad news. She tells the Proctors of how serious the proceedings have become. "Goody Osburn - will hang!" This is the first sign of hanging and would shock the audience. Mary also gives Elizabeth a puppet she made in court. Puppets can signify voodoo and witchcraft. This is an important turning point in the play. "I made a gift for you today... Why thank you, it's a fair poppet." This gives the audience a sense of fear, as Mary Warren could be part of Abigail's plot. Exchange occurs between John and Mary to the point where he is ready to whip until she changes the atmosphere of the act. "(pointing at Elizabeth): I saved her life today!" ...read more.

Conclusion

John grabs the warrant and rips it up. This is seen as an attack on the law. The situation escalates and eventually Elizabeth leaves with Cheever and Herrick. Soon after Giles, Hale and Francis Nurse leave, leaving John and Mary alone. John uses violent, scary and abusive language against Mary. "I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me!" There has been a drastic change in John since the start of the act and has become a wild and tortured beast who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Act two has ended in hysteria just like the first and has developed characters and themes from the first act. John is more angry and Hale has become very guilt ridden. The theme of witch craft has developed and now betrayal, deceit and love have entered the structure of the play. The fact that so many people have been put in jail has fastened the pace of the action and made it more frantic and chaotic. This act has prepared us for Act three as we now know that the action will be based upon John and Giles trying to get there wives out of jail and trying to bring Abigail to justice. In conclusion, the play has now entered its reasons for being called The Crucible as John Proctor has entered the flames that will soon make him pure. ...read more.

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