Miller creates an atmosphere and mood within the play reminiscent of the historical period and of Puritan culture. This concern leads directly into act 3.
Soon the whole country was whipped into a moral frenzy. Rather than suffer severe and inevitable punishment for their actions, the girls accused other inhabitants of Salem of practicing witchcraft.
Some cooperated; others, like Miller, refused to give in to questioning. Miller wrote the play during the brief ascendancy of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a demagogue whose vitriolic anti-Communism proved the spark needed to propel the United States into a dramatic and fractious anti-Communist fervor during these first tense years of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
This scene is generally included in the appendix of publications, but is rarely included in production of the play. By refusing to relinquish his name, he redeems himself for his earlier failure and dies with integrity. However, there were certainly Communists in s America, and many of those who were lionized as victims of McCarthyism at the time, such as the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss a former State Department officialwere later found to have been in the pay of the Soviet Union.
This classic love triangle appears repeatedly in literature, not to mention the supermarket tabloids. To get the most out of his triumph, Danforth asks Proctor to sign his confession, so that it can be posted upon the church door.
He snatches the confession and tears it apart, ready to die rather than to give false testimony publicly.
Furthermore, his central plot device—the affair between Abigail Williams and John Proctor—has no grounding in fact Proctor was over sixty at the time of the trials, while Abigail was only eleven. Two years later, inMiller wrote Death of a Salesman, which won the Pulitzer Prize and transformed Miller into a national sensation.
Or the fact that, hey: The moment he arrives, Hale starts his interrogation of Abigail, who confesses and turns against Tituba, who admits her dark practices. On the other hand, Miller moves beyond a discussion of witchcraft and what really happened in Salem to explore human motivation and subsequent behavior.
But others thrive on the hysteria as well: Intolerance The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism.
Old grudges and jealousies spilled out into the open, fueling the atmosphere of hysteria. Proctor provides an excellent example. Sensing the impact of this, Danforth summons Elizabeth and asks her why she dismissed Abigail; she lies to protect her husband, thereby sabotaging his defense.
The policy resulted in a whirlwind of accusations. Think mass hysteria that makes entire communities suspicious and paranoid. At the time of its first performance, in January ofcritics and cast alike perceived The Crucible as a direct attack on McCarthyism the policy of sniffing out Communists.
She has had an affair with Proctor, who now refuses to continue the affair out of a mixture of guilt and loyalty to his wife. Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village, albeit temporarily, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority.
In order to save his wife, he must publicly announce his sin and, therefore, lose his good name. Those who were revealed, falsely or legitimately, as Communists, and those who refused to incriminate their friends, saw their careers suffer, as they were blacklisted from potential jobs for many years afterward.
Sure, on the surface this play appears to be totally about the Salem Witch Trials. Ironically, the girls avoided punishment by accusing others of the very things of which they were guilty. Proctor is tested severely when he goes to the court to defend Elizabeth.
Abigail is a young woman who seizes an opportunity to reverse fate. For example, he lowers the age gap between John Proctor and Abigail Williams from sixty and eleven, respectively, to thirty-five and seventeen, enabling the plot line of an affair between the two.
The Puritans had no tolerance for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior and punished individuals publicly and severely if they transgressed.
Fearing the spread of Communism and seeing it as a threat to the nation and to individual freedoms, the American government, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, sought out every single communist in the U. The most obvious case is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to jail.
Act 4 commences in a moonlit prison chamber just before dawn, as Danforth and Parris try to bring Proctor to confess so that they can avoid hanging him, with other prominent citizens, for being an unrepentant sinner.
Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing absurd and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on.
Several of his early works won prizes, and during his senior year, the Federal Theatre Project in Detroit performed one of his works. Her apparently incurable illness sets in motion the action of the play, which centers on the historic Salem witch trials.
In particular he focuses on the discovery of several young girls and a slave playing in the woods, conjuring — or attempting to conjure — spirits from the dead.
A self-perpetuating cycle of distrust, accusation, arrest, and conviction emerged.Dramatizing History in Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Researching the Salem Witch Trials - Inference and Evidence Media "Witchcraft Victims on the Way to the Gallows," by F.C.
Yoyan, appeared in the Boston Herald, May 14, But Arthur Miller intended to use the Salem Witch Trials as an allegory for the anti-communist Red Scare and the congressional hearings of Senator Joseph McCarthy going on in the United States inwhen the play was first performed.
The Crucible, a play written inby Arthur Miller, details the Salem witch trials that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts.
Abigail, the main character in the play, manipulates the Puritan town's anti-witch fervor to destroy John Proctor, her former employer who once had an affair with her. Drawing on research on the witch trials he had conducted while an undergraduate, Miller composed The Crucible in the early s.
Miller wrote the play during the brief ascendancy of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a demagogue whose vitriolic anti-Communism proved the spark needed to propel the United States into a dramatic and fractious anti.
Miller discusses his work with various interviewers. Two useful discussions of The Crucible. Miller, Arthur. Timebends: A Life. New York: Grove Press, Morgan, Edmund S. “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and the Salem Witch Trials: A Historian’s View,” in The Golden and the Brazen World: Papers in Literature and History, The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism.
Because of the theocratic nature of the society, moral laws and state laws are one and the same: sin and the status of an individual’s soul are matters of public concern.Download