The Allegorical Meaning of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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The Crucible, a play by the famous playwright Arthur Miller, retells the story of the witch trials occurring in Salem during the seventeen century. Between lies, deceiving and treachery, Salem was the place of a relatively massive genocide solely based upon unproved facts and accusations. However, the real message being the story is something else altogether as The Crucible is an allegory denouncing McCarthyism. The present written task will focus on the following question “If the text had been written in a different time or place or language or for a different audience, how and why might it differ?” Based on the context of this literary piece, we will therefore see how a text might change based on time period, the setting and the language used in the play The Crucible and the audience for which it was written. The aim of this task is also to visualize the reasons for these differences if the changes occur.
The Crucible was written in 1953 by Arthur Miller. Miller was portraying, through the reenactment of the Salem witch trials, an anti-communist movement we can refer to as McCarthyism. The play is therefore an allegory of McCarthyism. It illustrates the impact of the hysteria witchcraft has aroused in the town of Salem, thus demonstrating the effect of the Red scare on the American society. Miller denounced the actions of McCarthy’s House of Un-American Activities Committee through the character Abigail, whose lying and deceiving abilities lead to the death of numerous honest Salem citizens. However, Arthur miller’s message would not still hold the same relevance if the play was written in a different time. The aim of the play would have been completely obsolete since it was written for a specific time period. McCarthyism lasted...

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... his league. Also the tone of the story varies depending on which character is talking, therefore having an effect on our vision of each character. Miller gave a harsher tone to the judges, thus painting them as villains. Abigail was portrayed with a rather malevolent tone which thus classified her as the main felon of the story. Proctor and the other victims had a more innocent tone and are therefore seen as victims. Therefore, the language in which the play is written has a definite aim and altering it can have a significant impact on the play’s meaning and objectives.
The Crucible’s literary elements where chosen for specific reason as they have different effects on the story and on the audience. Therefore, changing the time, place, audience or language of the play modifies it considerably and consequently alters the context, the meaning and the aim of the story.

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