The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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Arthur Miller’s 1953 play The Crucible and Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 dystopian science-fiction film Children of Men both represent people and politics through an exploration of the concept of justice and conformity and non-conformity. Both texts represent people and politics in a unique and evocative way through their differing textual forms, contexts and techniques. In The Crucible, the mass hysteria surrounding the witch trials caused paranoia amongst the people of Salem. Miller uses the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 as a symbol and allegory of the fear surrounding the spread of communism during the 1950s in America. The community’s sense of justice was blinded by the mass hysteria and for some, a desire for vengeance and personal gain. The Putnams are political opportunists and use the town’s hysteria to their advantage by blaming people such as Goody Osburn and Sarah Good to gain power. The presumption of “innocent until proven guilty” is reverted to “guilty until proven innocent” in the Salem witch trials, which is unjust. The witch trials parallel with the House of Un-American Activities Committee, where people were trialled if they were suspected of being communists or associated with communism. The blaming was also seen during the HUAC hearings. John Proctor’s repeated exclamation of “the proof, the proof!” in the courtroom exemplifies the injustice faced by those accused of witchcraft; the court has been influenced by the mass hysteria and convicted innocent people without “proof.” Elizabeth Proctor also reiterates this injustice when she says: “They’ll hang if they’ll not confess, John. The town’s gone wild, I think.” The high modality highlights the injustice as the innocent people will hang if they do not confess to what th... ... middle of paper ... ...s the audience follows him on his journey, which creates a documentary feel and makes the film more realistic. The scene begins with an anti-immigration propaganda played on the train and the camera slowly pans over Theo and to the windows where the rebels could be seen throwing rocks onto the train. The slow pan from the anti-immigration propaganda to the rebels emphasise the dissension in the society; the rebels disagree with the British government’s values and policies. Cuarón represents people and politics in a unique and evocative way through an exploration of conformity and non-conformity in a dystopian context. In conclusion, Miller’s The Crucible and Cuarón’s Children of Men represent people and politics in a unique and evocative way. Their explorations of justice and conformity and non-conformity are unique due to the differing contexts and textual forms.

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