Essay on The Effectiveness of the Closing Scene of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Essay on The Effectiveness of the Closing Scene of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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The Effectiveness of the Closing Scene of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Arthur Miller was born in 1915 and was only fourteen years of age at
the time of the Wall Street crash, this clearly affected his life. His
plays often concentrated upon contemporary society and problems it may
face. This is why at first sight "The Crucible" seems to break this
mould, instead of a play showing contemporary society; it concerns a
study in the mass hysteria which led to the 1692 Salem witchcraft
trials.

The play is based around the Salem Witchcraft trials of the 17th
century; however the play is in fact a comment on the mass hysteria
which swept America in the 1950's concerning the huge fear, communism.
Communism threatened America's capitalist attitude to life, and
especially "The American Dream". The "dream" if anyone worked hard
they could find great wealth and prosper. Rich and upper class
American citizens feared the far left extremists, because the thought
of a communist state being established horrified them. This could
cause their hard earned wealth being shared evenly among the
population.

Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" shows a parallel between the America of
the 1950's and the Salem Witch trials in 1692. Where as 1950's America
feared communism the Salem of the 17th century was a puritan village
fearing witchcraft. Senator John McCartney presided over the
investigations of the Senate Committee on Internal Security, which was
as ruthlessly determined as the Salem judges had been to hunt out
witches. Both McCartney and the Salem judges sought to extort first
confessions, then names of alleged associates. Refusal to denounce
others...


... middle of paper ...


...em of the devil; he will save the already
broken community. Not only is Salem supposedly harbouring the devil,
before this there were squabbles over land, jealousy and vengeance.
Hale is seen by the Salemcommunity as a saviour. Nicholas Hytner's
film production conveys an image that Hale is a hero, the whole
population of Salem come to greet his entrance. Hytner also shows Hale
to be very committed to his work, and upon his arrival it seems he is
in a rush to begin his work, by rushing to see the inert Betty. I feel
Hytner's way of introducing Hale is effective, because as an audience
one can see how Hail and his books were seen by the Salemcommunity to
be the answers to all their problems.

Hale is believed to be an expert on witchcraft. He was initially
summoned by Parris to determine whether the devil was in Salem.

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