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There is a clear parallel between the events of 1692 in Salem and the political investigation of the 1950's in America

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Matthew Walsh 11w4 12th November 2005 There is a clear parallel between the events of 1692 in Salem and the political investigation of the 1950's in America. What are the particular characteristics of this play, which makes its story timeless and universal? Timeless, universal and parallels to modern times, this is how we can describe Arthur Miller's The Crucible as his play brought up many issues and many ways a small village can turn something so small into a mass hysteria. His play shows the power of one person and one event, and how these two small things resulted in the death of so many people. With the conclusions we can draw from the play perhaps the most important point is that the events of such a widespread witch-hunt can still apply to matters all over the world to this very day. From America to china examples of prejudice and hysteria can still be told to this very day. In a lecture in the year 2000, at Harvard University, Millar spoke about a Chinese woman called Yuen Cheng, who wrote 'life and death in shanghai' about her six year solitary confinement under the cultural revolution in China. After her release she went to see The Crucible and she was amazed that it was not wrote by a Chinese writer. ...read more.


In The Crucible Abigail were accusing people for releasing spirits, which only she could see or feel. This was the same in the 1950s America trials as people were being accused for even being suspected of such acts with no proof that they have done any communist actions. In both trials bigger names were starting to be accused Abigail tried to Accuse John Hales wife of witch craft, and in 1692 religion was such a big influence it was believed that a wife of a minister could not of been contacted by the devil, this proves that the hysteria was so out of control that bigger names were being tried to see if the accusations could pay off. In McCarthyism McCarthy was trying to accuse bigger names such as Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and people in the army, this again proves that the terror was so out of control even people as important as Truman and the army were being accused of many actions not even thought of in there state of power. After the end of the hysteria Millar said " it would probably never have occurred to me to write a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692 had I not seen some astonishing correspondences with that calamity in the America of the late forties and early fifties." ...read more.


Another key factor in The Crucible is the power of love. Through out the play there is a love story between John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor. The way John reacts and acts is mainly influenced by the love he has for Elizabeth and for what he has done in the past. John had an affair with Abigail and the way he acts towards Elizabeth is that of sorrow and wants forgiveness. The way he acts proves that the power of love is a massive thing and that he would do anything for Elizabeth. In the world today the power of love is still as important and such a big influence that it can make people act in certain ways and make people to things just like in The Crucible. The events of The Crucible are so widely seen and used in this modern world it is hard to disagree with the fact that it is still such a massive part of the world, as we know it. Many witch-hunts and hysteria are still used today and the injustice people face is still widely seen and known around the world. The events and the punishments might be different but the general feel is still the same and the timeless and universal actions which people face today and the striking resemblance to The Crucible just prove that you cannot argue with the way the events in The Crucible affect are lives and the impact they still have to this very day. ...read more.

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