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"The Crucible" Essay

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Introduction

How Does Miller Create Tension At The End Of Act Three Of 'The Crucible'? During Arthur Miller's career as a writer, he encountered an event called the McCarthy political 'witch-hunt' held in America in the 1950s. This phenomenon started once the Second World War had ended, but America was still fighting in Korea in an attempt to diminish the flow of communism in Asia, on the other hand the United States of America faced an enormous power bloc such as itself, the USSR (Russia). Both the US and Russia became threatened by each other's nuclear programme and fear grew as neither of them were sure as to whether the other would attack. America grew further fearful that the philosophy of communism could be spreading onto its soil and may eventually undermine and destroy capitalism and the American way of life. Senator Joseph McCarthy was appointed to lead a 'hunt' where people who where believed to be communists or who have even been involved in meetings or discussions regarding communism to as early as twenty years ago were considered as communist sympathisers. Miller was one of many that were prosecuted and those who were prosecuted were brought before a Committee to answer charges concerning their involvement in the potential outbreak of communism. He began to link the activities of the Committee to the witchcraft trials which had taken place in the American town of Salem, ...read more.

Middle

It seems here that Proctor sacrifices his own life in order to save his wife, Elizabeth and also the lives of many other women in the process. Ironically by unveiling his 'sin' from the past, he appears to have taken a route towards 'goodness' and 'justice'. Abigail who is stunned instantly denies Proctor's accusation 'Mr. Danforth, he is lying!' Proctor 'trembles' as if his life is 'collapsing about him' 'I have known her, sir. I have known her'. Thus the secret leaks out and the audience reach a colossal peak of tension as they are immensely eager to know the consequence of Proctor's confession. As Abigail still remains to deny the claim, Proctor states that he has evidence of this, his wife who according to Proctor 'knew a whore when she saw one' and 'in her life', she has 'never lied'. Elizabeth 'Goody' Procter is called into the courtroom and is told to not even look in her husband's direction. Without delay she is asked questions regarding why Abigail was put out of employment. Elizabeth slowly but surely explains how Abigail dissatisfies her. According to Goody Proctor she felt that her husband was 'turning from' her to an extent that she came to think he 'fancied' Abigail. At this stage, the audience build a sense that she is going to confess about what she knows regarding the past relationship between John Proctor and Abigail, in the process this develops the suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point the tension has been broken slightly but suspense has built up due to the audience wanting to know the consequences for Proctor's comment. It would appear that the outburst of this harsh statement is developed by the brewing anger that has been built up towards the theocracy. Throughout the play, Miller has provided a sense of irony as a key element in the foundation of the play, the witchcraft hoax, is considered as a form of dramatic irony as the judges are to stubborn to consider that they could be fooled as it could put them to shame, as the would be responsible for around ninety innocent deaths. In more simpler terms, as they 'supposedly' preach religion and God they instead contradict their own beliefs in order to keep themselves out of trouble and humiliation, very much like the girls who where dancing in the forest. This scene can prove powerful even till this day as it shows how a system of government can be manipulated as Abigail did in court. People's views and thoughts should be put into consideration when something as valuable and important as a life is at risk. And one should not judge a case by what they see on the outside but to attempt to take a bigger insight into all aspects of the trial and accusation made. We can see how irresponsible bias judgements can be mistakes and also follow onto the punishment of innocent citizens. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jabin Islam 10RH 1 ...read more.

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