Arthur Miller's The Crucible: A Defense for His Communist Friends Essay

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: A Defense for His Communist Friends Essay

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Arthur Miller was an American author who was born in 1915. He wrote ‘the crucible’ in 1953 during the McCarthy period when Americans were accusing each other of pro-communist beliefs. Many of Miller’s friends were being attacked as communists and in 1956; Miller himself was brought before the House of Un-American Activities Committee where he was found guilty of beliefs in communism. The verdict was reversed in 1957 in an appeals court. The crucible was written to warn people about the mass hysteria that happened in Salem and how the McCarthy period could follow the same route.
The Crucible is set in this mass hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts during the mad witch hunts in the late 17th century. It tells a true tale about a town, after accusations from a few girls, which begins a mad witch hunt for witches that did not even exist. In result, many townspeople were hanged on charges of witchcraft. The Crucible demonstrates the cruelties people face when society turns their back upon them.
The play opens with Reverend Parris, a greedy ill respected man, praying over his daughter, Betty Parris who lies inert on her bed, apparently in a trance. Through conversations with Reverend Paris and his niece Abigail Williams and several other girls we soon discover that the girls, along with Abigail and Betty have been involved in suspicious activities in the forest. During these suspicious activities Abigail drank chicken blood to kill Elizabeth proctor. In fear of this being revealed she and the girls start accusing innocent village people. Then we meet John Proctor, Elizabeth’s husband, he is a good, highly respected man, who is holding a dark secret about his affair with Abigail. Abigail is desperate to have John back but John doesn’t wan...


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..., Proctor, I never warranted seeing such proof of hell, and I bid you obstruct me not, for I-.” Abigail’s revenge is a success and Elizabeth Proctor is arrested. Proctor is mad, he knows Abigail did this and now wants revenge on her. On page 63, he speaks of his anger over the court and wants the girls to be punished. “I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem – vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always wee in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! This warrant’s vengeance! I’ll not give my wife to vengeance!” He highlights how he is so furious with Salem over what it has become. He states that it the children are now running the place – jangling the keys and writing the laws. He is mad at the Parish for letting the children’s games make them so gullible, leading to the arrest of his wife.

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