The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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The Crucible The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play published in 1953 during the time of McCarthyism and anti-communist fear. In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy delivered a speech that shocked America; he accused the Truman administration of being involved with communists. McCarthy’s paranoia led to the questioning of citizens and even public trials that caused panic among Americans. McCarthyism is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a mid-20th century political attitude characterized chiefly by opposition to elements held to be subversive and by the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.” Miller ensures that the reader understands that the play is not history yet ironically he uses a historical event to develop the plot of the play. Using the Salem Witch Trials, Miller is able to compare and critique McCarthyism to the witch-hunts. The play begins with the introduction of the Puritan society and the strict rules imposed on the members of this society can be seen in act one. Proctor, a key character in the play and a tragic hero, is introduced along with his strong beliefs that heavily deviate from the Puritan society. Elizabeth Proctor his loving and supporting wife is struggling with the brief affair that occurred between Abigail Williams and her husband, John Proctor. Fueled by revenge, Abigail takes desperate measures to win John’s heart, even using spells and dances. A former slave from Barbados, Tituba takes part in the dancing in the forest with the girls of the village and eventually is blamed by Abigail Williams of engaging in witchcraft. Reverend Parris calls Hale, the witch expert,... ... middle of paper ... ...ciety by forcing the members to either confess or be hung. This caused John Proctor to dissent from the community and voice his beliefs rather than conform ultimately leading to his death. Not only do the brave actions of this tragic hero demonstrate the conflict between the Puritan society and the individual, he also bring about the theme of pressure towards conformity. Miller develops this further by including an intriguing plot in the play. The constant accusations that Abigail makes towards other characters in the play, further shows how during the period of McCarthyism the accusations without evidence also occurred in the United States. As more accusations happen in the play and unexpected actions begin to happen, the reader becomes intrigued and therefore, Miller fulfills his purpose by creating a captivating plot. Miller utilizes powerful quotes to demonstrate

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