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The Crucible Overview

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English The Crucible Essay The Crucible, a tale of superstition and tyrannical oppression set to shake our complacency and make us think. Arthur Miller, the author of this compelling play, deals with controversial issues and subjects which could be classed as taboo such as infidelity and witchcraft. He has a rare talent when it comes to writing and conveying human emotions to his audience. Act 2 opens in the 'common room' of Proctor's house. John Proctor arrives later than usual after a hard days work. Carrying his gun he enters the "low, dark and rather long living-room". The stage directions not only suggest he is displeased with his food upon tasting it - he meddles with the pot situated on the fire: "Then he lifts out the ladle and tastes. He is not quite pleased..." - but also suggest that the setting in which this takes place is depressing and lifeless, symbolising the feelings that are conjured up in John when entering his 'home'. ...read more.


The mention of Salem alone is a trigger to feel got at for John: "Why? I have no business in Salem", hence the defensive barrier he puts up straight away. To add to the already arising argument, Elizabeth mentions that Mary Warren went to court. This is like adding salt to the wound for John because he specifically asked Elizabeth to prevent Mary doing so: "You heard me forbid her go to Salem anymore!". Pathetically Elizabeth claims she could not do such a thing, warranting John to remind her that she, Elizabeth is the 'Mistress' of the house. John is very dismissive of Elizabeth and patronises her with his imprecision. It seems in this argument stage directions suggest the looks given say more than the words and that actions really do speak louder. Elizabeth is her own worst enemy. She will not let the issue go and sadly hears the one thing she did not want to - John was alone with Abigail "she told me in the room alone.". ...read more.


By turning it round to her being in the wrong John hopes this sin of his will be forgotten. Sadly Elizabeth is still hurting seven months after his betrayal. She is in utter despair. The confession of John's left her feeling vulnerable and alone. Her suspicion of her husband is so strong because of her low self-esteem and insecurities. Abigail threatens her. What is she to do? Everyday she is faced with the reminder that she wasn't enough for the love of her life but she has no choice - she cannot leave. Society had not yet accepted even the concept of divorce, especially Practising Catholics like themselves. People judged their neighbours and it mattered about keeping up appearances. There would be no way Elizabeth could have confided in a 'friend' about her husband's infidelity and there was absolutely no way she could walk out on her marriage - divorce was out of the question. Though it may be all dead and buried and laid to rest in John's mind, for Elizabeth the wounds are just as deep as the day they were made. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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