• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Crucible, written in 1952 by Arthur Miller at the time of McCarthyism in the USA, is based on events in Massachusetts at the end of the seventeenth century. This essay identifies the parallels between these two periods in history.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Crucible. The Crucible, written in 1952 by Arthur Miller at the time of McCarthyism in the USA, is based on events in Massachusetts at the end of the seventeenth century. This essay identifies the parallels between these two periods in history. Massachusetts was one of the first areas of the American continent to be settled by the Pilgrim Fathers who left England because they were persecuted for their strict religious beliefs. In 1692, few people living outside of Massachusetts knew about the lives of those living there. It was generally believed, however, that they were a sad, pleasure-less group of people, who were forbidden any vain enjoyment by their creed. They had very few holidays or celebrations (they did not celebrate Christmas, a large Christian festival) and any short holiday that they did have simply meant less work and more prayer. Apart from their creed, a reason why holidays and celebrations were rare was because the people of Massachusetts had to work exceptionally hard to get even a single grain of corn from the land. ...read more.

Middle

If people called before the HUAC refused to name names, they were added to a blacklist that had been drawn up by the Hollywood film studios. Over 320 people were placed on this list that stopped them from working in the entertainment industry. This included Leonard Bernstein and Charlie Chaplin. It was then decided to use the Alien Registration Act against the American Communist Party. Leaders of the party were arrested and in October 1949, after a nine-month trial, eleven members were convicted of violating the act. Over the next two years another 46 members were arrested and charged with advocating the overthrow of the government. On 9th February 1950, Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin, made a speech claiming to have a list of 205 people in the State Department known to be members of the American Communist Party (like the people of Massachusetts, he had a great feeling of self righteous indignation towards others). The list of names was not a secret and had been in fact published by the Secretary of State in 1946. ...read more.

Conclusion

The girls of the village start the whole thing rolling however by pretending that they have seen the devil, in order that their 'leader', Abigail Williams can be married to John Proctor (he is already married but has had an affair with Abigail. His wife knows about it and John has sworn to never see her again. Her feelings for him however are still very violent). John Proctor ends up in a position very similar to that which Arthur Miller himself was put in, in the 1950's, suffering under McCarthyism. Whilst the court tries to persuade John Proctor to betray his friends, Miller was asked to name the people he had seen at a communist party meeting. They were both very nearly persuaded to do this, by the temptation of being able to live, and being able to live a calm and unworried life. Unlike so many others however, they both refused to sink to such a low level in order that their lives would be saved. '...I would not violate what on the spur of the moment I said was my sense of myself.' - Arthur Miller. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. the crucible essay

    This contradicts with the essay title quotation, as he appears to be quite self confident and and this is not conveyed to be a characteristic of a "struggling individual". Religion is considered to be extremely important in the 1690s and even not to know your ten commandments is shameful.

  2. GCSE Essay on Act III of the Crucible

    Miller's build up in tension throughout the act leads up to the final most dramatic part of the Act and arguably the play. Proctor's reply "God is dead!" which relates to his belief that God is not part of

  1. "The Crucible" Essay

    In this area of act three the audience witness the questioning of Mary Warren, described by Miller as a 'subservient, naive, lonely girl', she is subordinate, easily manipulated. In a string of attempts to convince the Judge of her 'innocence', Abigail cries 'Oh Heavenly Father, take away this shadow!'

  2. 20th century drama- The Crucible

    about him and the way he condemns those around him leads the village to be wary of him. In many ways Arthur miller presents Proctor as an ordinary man with a wife children and his own land, however he is also portrayed as less than ordinary as he himself is a contradiction in terms.

  1. Discuss how the two authors make literature from historical events.

    Leah writes in the present tense; this gives the reader insight into her feelings at the very moment that she felt them, rather than looking back detachedly on what she felt. It is from Leah that we gain the first view of Mr Wroe who is "powerful", at this point

  2. The Crucible - compare two versions (ie film and theatre)

    This suggests that they could believe in witchery. This particular shot is very panoramic. All of the girls seem very excited when they eventually reach the forest and start to giggle. The camera is in a mid shot position moving at the same pace as the girls running.

  1. Romeo and Juliet essay

    And toward ten o'clock of that night, after they had eaten, the cousins came." This last statement "then the cousins came" I feel would be spoken with darkness and menace, because although the cousins coming was supposed to be a happy time, giving a helping hand.

  2. The Crucible was written in 1952 by Arthur Miller

    There is a series of entrances and exits as all the main characters are introduced. Miller has done this to create the image of a crucible, where basic elements are added, melted and mixed to give an explosive force. The defining metaphor of the play is a symbol that does not appear anywhere but in the title.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work