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"The Crucible" - John Proctor says, "I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is walking Salem." Discuss the real evil in Salem, who contributed to it and their motives who do you blame the most?

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Introduction

"The Crucible" - Assignment 1 John Proctor says, "I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is walking Salem." Discuss the real evil in Salem, who contributed to it and their motives who do you blame the most? Before I begin to tell you my opinion on who was to blame, and my reasoning for saying so, I will give you a brief insight into the real point of Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. Arthur Miller first produced his play in 1953, in the middle of the McCarthy political 'witch-hunt', although the story had applied for playwright for many years prior to this. This meant that the play was seen as a political parable - it represented the goings on in actual political life. Since 1938, an organisation had existed in America called the House Un-American Activities Committee with the right to investigate any movement, or anyone who seemed to put at risk America's safety. The chairman of this was Senator Joseph McCarthy. Under his rule, the committee became paranoid in its search for people who sympathised with communists. Almost any criticism of the government or its instructions was seen, in the eyes of McCarthy, as an admission of devotion or loyalty to communism beliefs. Witnesses were made to appear in court and answer charges that they were sympathisers of communist followers, and made to name others that they saw at these meetings which took place as long as twenty years ago. Liberal writers, film directors and actors all appeared before the committee and, as a result, many of them found it hard to find future work in the American theatre or film industry. In 1956, when the committee's power finally began to deteriorate, Arthur Miller was summoned. He was asked to confess to signing his name to a list of petitions that had been produced with his signature. Miller, in his mind, began to link the activities of the Committee with the witchcraft trials, which had taken place in Salem, an American town, two centuries ago. ...read more.

Middle

It's a bitter woman, a lying, cold, snivelling, woman, and I will not work for such a woman!" The second is the change in attitude she has towards Betty. She claims that she will never do anything to harm Betty, "I would never hurt Betty. I love her dearly." But as soon as Parris has left the room, we see that she is conniving and all that she said whilst Parris was in the room was an act. Immediately we grow to resent Abigail as we have seen her for just a short while, yet she has already been deceitful to someone that she should have great respect for. Abigail, in fact, has no real care for Betty. Her only care is that Betty does not land her in trouble. Once Parris has left the room, Abigail becomes more aggressive in her attempts to get Betty out of her unconscious state, "Betty? Now stop this! Betty! Sit up now!" Abigail is a person who easily intimidates her peers. I personally think that the other girls allow her to be so dominant over them as they think that she has no fear of anyone because of what happened to her parents, "...I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!" There is much that can be said about Abigail, and her contribution to the evil in Salem. As Mary Warren tells her early on in the play, all Abigail has to do, to save her own, and many others lives, is admit to having had danced in the woods. If she had been straight with Parris and told him everything that went on in the woods - instead of blaming it on Tituba - then she, along with the other girls who participated, would have only been whipped for their dancing. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the scene progresses, Francis gives Danforth a deposition of people who do not believe that Rebecca, Elizabeth or Martha Corey are guilty. There are ninety-one who have signed it and Parris tries to claim that it is an attack upon the court, which angers Hale when he says, in a fit of rage, "Is every defence an attack upon the court?" and, for a moment it seems that Danforth agrees, "It is not necessarily an attack, I think." But that soon fades when he agrees with Hathorne that the people be summoned for examining. Also, Danforth purposely has the rest of the girls brought into court when Mary wants to confess, 'cause in his head he knows that she will be intimidated and so her answers will be influenced. And the girls do just that. They turn on Mary and claims she sends her spirit out on them. Eventually, Mary cannot take anymore and she turns on Proctor, claiming he made her come to the court to overthrow it. Hale realises what is going on and tries to convince all the others that Mary just acting out of fear but he fails, and John Proctor is accused of witchcraft. In the last scene in the whole play, when Proctor is to be hanged, Danforth makes him sign a written copy of his confession so that he can hang it on the church door. Proctor signs it, but then refuses to have his name hung on the church that he built, with so many people feeling disgust with him. Also, seeing the others that are to hang influences his confession as he feels guilt for letting the others die by not submitting to lies. He pleads with Danforth to leave things as they were, saying his confession by mouth was enough, but Danforth will not accept anything unless it be written and signed. Danforth is heartless in doing this, as he knows the confession is not necessary, for he has not taken a confession from anyone else. ...read more.

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