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'The Crucible'. Miller wrote The Crucible as a response to McCarthyism; when the US government blacklisted accused communists.

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Introduction

'The Crucible' is a play written by Arthur Miller which was written in 1953. Miller's 'The Crucible' explores the paranoia and hysteria of the Salem Witch trials of 1692 and the almost parallel events of the McCarthy 'Witch Hunts' of Communist sympathisers in 1950s America. It also illustrates how people react to mass hysteria created by a person or group of people; as people did during the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s and the Salem 'Witch Hunts' of 1692. Miller wrote 'The Crucible' as a response to McCarthyism; when the US government blacklisted accused communists. Miller himself was to be questioned by the House of Representative's Committee on 'Un-American' Activities in 1952 and convicted of "contempt of Congress" for failing to identify others present at meetings he had attended. Miller then linked this point in his life with events that happened during 'The crucible'. Overall, the whole play is symbolic of the events which happened in 1950s America; with all the McCarthyism and witch hunts; in which the US government were 'rooting out' those who seemed to be sympathetic to communism. This is also to help with the idea of 'The Crucible' being an Allegory; the play was shown as 1600s Salem, but it was really about 1950s America and the events which happened during that time period. ...read more.

Middle

Miller uses this, among several other ideas, to show how most humans will give into persecution and accept injustice in order to save them their own life. In addition, this implies that, in a society where one person or a small group of people can have much more power and a far greater say in matters; that it can corrupt a society and cause injustice and unfairness. An example for this is in the opening act with Reverend Parris-a man, obsessed with materialistic worth and power, and, more critically, with a judge-Judge Hathrone and a Deputy governor Danforth. Two of the main characters in Salem with power; they were mainly responsible for sentencing so many of the accused, even though they knew they could have been wrong. However, Hathrone and Danforth were both ordained and so called 'Chosen by God'. So this would automatically put them in a position with power and higher authority; and because of this people would dare not question their judgement. Another character which was portrayed as 'Powerful' was Abigail Williams. Abigail is Reverend Parris's niece and to our knowledge, she has had an affair with John Proctor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Along with the warning she gave them; "We danced...And that is all. And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you...And you know I can do it..." This is the warning she gives the other girls and this basically means that she does not want the truth to come out or otherwise she will 'come' to them and deal with them. Throughout the play, tragedy is portrayed through the characters as well as the idea of guilt. An example for this is shown in Giles Corey; he feels guilty for being the main reason/person for condemning his wife to prison and later on, death. He confessed that he could not pray while his wife was in the house and that she read a lot of books. This aroused suspicion for Reverend Hale-who then spoke of this to the court; then after she was put in prison and later she died. ?? ?? ?? ?? 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller GCSE English Literature Coursework ...read more.

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