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The Crucible - review

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The Crucible Year 10 Research Essay Semester 2: 2002 Mrs. Stevens Due: 13/9/2002 (Extension to 23/9/2002) Words: 766 "I certify that this is all my own work and that I acknowledged all sources used in this piece of writing" By Julian Veerasingam The title of the play 'The Crucible' is significantly represented through key events that occur during the Salem Tragedy. Arthur Miller clearly uses both meanings of a crucible to great effect. A crucible is an earthenware pot that uses high temperature and pressure to heat metals. This process is used to remove impurities leaving only the pure matter. A crucible is also a severe trial or test. Throughout the play, it becomes quite apparent through Miller's style of writing that he successfully characterises the 1692 society of Salem to the imagery of a crucible. The significance of the play's title becomes first apparent at the beginning of Act 1. ...read more.


Pg. 29 As rumours and lies spread through Salem, neighbours begin accusing one another in an attempt to hide their own flaws. If members of the community seem to be keeping to themselves, people took that as a sign that a person has some terrible fault to hide. When the pressure mounted upon an individual becomes too great, the person either confesses or is left to hang; thereby leaving them free from the impurities of injustice. In the courtroom, the bewitched girls and powerful authorities put the innocent defendants and the community under extreme pressure. The defendants are pressured into confessing, while the community is pressured into condemning and outlawing the innocent. In a crucible, metals are permanently changed from one thing to another. As characters in the play buckle under the pressure, they begin revealing some of their deeply hidden qualities. ...read more.


After being faced with the statement, he searches and finds the good inside of him. He dies a martyr: thereby being cleansed of his mortal sins. Before Proctor is sentenced to hang, he gets a chance to talk to Elizabeth. While talking to her he says: PROCTOR: 'Would you give them such as lie? You would not; if tongs of fire were singeing you, you would not' Pp. 120 This quote clearly shows Proctor relating Elizabeth's conscience to an image of fire. By using fire, Miller symbolises its association to a crucible A crucible is used to separate the impurities from the pure matter. So in essence the witch trials were an attempt to separate the 'good' from the 'bad'. By connecting the Salem Witch Trials to a crucible, Arthur Miller makes us search deeper into the characteristics of human behaviour, when put in certain predicaments. When we are fully able to understand the imagery used by Miller, only then will we be able to understand what happened during the Salem Witch Trials and more importantly the occurrence of 'McCarthyism'. ...read more.

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