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"The Crucible" reflects not only the time it was set, but also the time in which it was written and is read'

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By John Mason English Coursework. ' "The Crucible" reflects not only the time it was set, but also the time in which it was written and is read' Arthur Miller first wrote his play 'The Crucible' in the 1950's. During this time a political witch-hunt was sweeping America. After the Second World War had ended and two 'super powers' were left standing-America and Russia. Even though they fought on the same side, they still had hatred buried inside them. They could never trust each other because of their believes- the Americans believed in their system of government, they were Capitalism and the Russians were communist. After the War, in the 1950's an organisation called the 'House Un-American Activities Committee' who were under the chairman ship of Senator Joseph McCarthy, this committee became almost paranoid of Communist and Communist sympathisers amongst the American public. Also America were fighting in Korea in an attempt to halt the tide of communism spreading in Asia as each side got more violent there were many fears that philosophy of the communist ideas would spread over to America and would destroy and corrupt the American way of life-capitalism. ...read more.


In Salem's case by Abigail Williams and a few other girls, in the 1950's case, by McCarthy. But the hysteria carried on from gentle rumour it got bigger and bigger as innocent people were brought into it and accused until it reached peak points. This effect is called the snowball effect- it starts off small and as it rolls on it gets bigger and bigger. The way Salem village was quickly taken over is because they respected and looked up to those in power: * Ministers * And judges * Also people with wealthy lands and money And if these people are caught up in the hysteria and throw out accusations they quickly encourage the whole society and village to follow suit. This can be shown by the fountain effect: If the top is the courts and ministers and red dye (representing hysteria and corruption) was poured at the top it will contaminate the whole fountain, community, and is very difficult to get rid of. Miller wrote his play 'The Crucible' to show how people can be led astray by lies and deceit. ...read more.


I also think that the play is intended for the public because it is entertainment and so that people could realise what was happening to their own countries and if it did not resolve this is what would happen. Also for the U.S government to show them that they were the same as the officials in Salem and the same could happen in the United States if it was not stopped. The story even has meaning today. It may not have direct links to today's society but it is there to learn from so that these catastrophes will not happen again in the future or even now. So all in all I agree with the title that 'The Crucible' does reflect the time it was written and the time it is read. I say this because wherever we look we can see mass hysteria be it at football matches or concerts or even at political conferences and also in modern wars including the campaign against Afghanistan. But, no matter how much we learn from the past hysteria will never completely go, it will continue in people's lives in crowds and their feelings. ...read more.

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