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The Crucible - How does Arthur Miller organise the first act to make it dramatically effective?

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English Coursework The Crucible How does Arthur Miller organise the first act to make it dramatically effective? The Crucible is set in Salem in 1692. It is about a group of girls who are accused of witchcraft by the people of Salem, and they are put on trial for it. The story is centred on a man named John Proctor who is a farmer in the town, and it is about his affairs, his everyday ones and his sexual ones. There are many themes in The Crucible, deceit, religion, fear, guilt and the evading of peoples privacy. Miller wrote the play to be a parallel of the famous McCarthy trials of the 1950's, in which he was involved. The American courts were holding a so-called 'witch hunt' of communists and they believed that Miller had information about the communists. People think The Crucible is based on this because they were both based on insubstantial evidence. The key character in this scene is Betty, because, although she is inert, she hears everything the other characters are saying. She becomes a piece of the set, and because of this, she hears all of their secrets, troubles and fears. ...read more.


This creates great tension between Mr and Mrs Putnam and Parris. Parris and Mr Putnam are horrified that she has sent someone to conjure up the dead, as this is seen as witchcraft. Also, Mr Putnam is a very well respected member of the community, this could ruin him. Mercy Lewis then enters, and at this point there are so many people in the room, that there has to be tension, and that is a very clever technique, because the less people in the room, the less tension, but the more people in the room, the higher the tension is. Parris and the Putnam's leave, and then Mary Warren enters. These girls gather round Abigail and she tells them that they have been discovered dancing in the woods. At this point Betty jumps up and runs towards the window screaming, "I'll fly to mama, let me fly." This is in reference to the Putnam's saying she had been flying. Betty then shows that she has been listening to what they have been saying and remembers everything that happens, Abigail says, "I told him everything; he knows now, he knows everything we..." ...read more.


But, as with all the people in Salem, she gets other people involved. She tells them Goody Osburn and Goody Good were also advocates of the devil. Realising that she can also get out of the trouble she is on, Abigail confesses to being possessed and accuses more people, "I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss his hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" At this moment all the girls in the room start saying the same, and Betty wakes up and calls out, "I saw Martha Bellows with the Devil!" Everyone is so relieved that these children have repented, and there is great glee among the girls that they have got away with what they did. In conclusion, I think that the main technique Miller uses in The Crucible is the adding and taking away of people to the room. If he puts two people in who don't like each other then the tension increases, but if there are two people in love, or who are friends, the tension is lowered. James Barber 11F ...read more.

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