Essay on Building Tension in Act 2 of Miller's The Crucible

Essay on Building Tension in Act 2 of Miller's The Crucible

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The meaning of crucible is to ‘purify something by heat or pressure’. This is a reference to hell and the heat that it contains, as well as the pressure there is about not going there or being sent there for your sins. There are many characters within the play which could be ‘purified’, one of them being John Proctor. This is the play’s main character and plays the part of the tragic hero within it. He is fundamentally a good man, but he has committed lechery so has this on his conscience for much of his life. Towards the idea of his purification, Proctor redeems himself a the end of the play as he refuse the opportunity for a pubic confession and holds his good name until his death, his purification is in realising his flaws but upholding his honest and good nature, even though it is the cause of his death. Miller’s intentions for writing The Crucible were to present a parody of the political climate of the day to an audience, without directly showing the causes of the present day’s disruptive political context. Miller produced the play as an allegorical representation of the HUAC (House of Un-American Activities Committee) and the way in which the treated others and ‘upheld’ the law. Whilst doing this Miller had to be careful of the way he wrote the play, as a direct link to HUAC could, make him seem like a target for the organisation. An overview of the play could be: In Salem, in Massachusetts, a group of young girls went dancing in the woods with a black slave called Tituba. This was seen by the Reverend of the town, Reverend Parris (he was also a father and uncle of two girls who were dancing). The following morning two girls are found in a coma-like state, one with her eyes open, the other with her eyes closed, but neit...

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...ces: when he was convicted of contempt of Congress in May 1957 by HUAC. However, all of this ranking and authority is balanced by John Proctor and the way he handles the situation. He does this by tearing the warrant and going against what that law says the court has power to do. “You will not chain Elizabeth” His aggressive behaviour goes against the court and their seemingly calm front, despite the fact they are becoming increasingly aware that many of the people of Salem are starting to question the dependability of the court and the way in which that they are accusing, proving and arresting the suspects. Proctor stabilises the moral balance in this scene. The chaos of it all displays how ridiculous the whole scenario is, not just arresting Elizabeth, but suspecting anyone of this crime and how they use circumstantial proof to sentence those, innocent, to death.

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