Miller's Presentation of the Theme Of Greed And Envy within The Crucible

Miller's Presentation of the Theme Of Greed And Envy within The Crucible

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Miller's Presentation of the Theme Of Greed And Envy within The Crucible

'The Crucible' was written in 1953 by Arthur Miller in the time of the
cold war, although the play was set in 1692. The play is about a town
called Salem in America and about the witch-hunts that took place
there. Because it was written in this time period there is a feeling
of mistrust, greed and envy echoed in the play. Arthur Miller plays on
these feelings and produces a theme of greed and envy that is critical
to the whole play. I will be discussing this theme further.

Miller first introduces the theme of greed and envy by creating many
social tensions in Act 1. We can tell there are social tensions
because of the way the people speak to each other, such as when Mr
Putnam says to Mr Parris '"No witchcraft! Now look you, Mr Parris -"'
(Pg 10.) This shows us that Parris and Putnam must have a history
between them of unfriendly feelings, as not many people would dare
stand up to a minister. This unfriendliness is confirmed by the piece
of analytical text Miller has included (pg 11) to help us understand
it better. In this piece of text he writes, 'Some time before, Thomas
Putnam's brother-in-law, James Bayley, had been turned down as
minister of Salem.' This gives us the idea that Putnam is resentful of
Mr Parris, because Parris acquired the job Putnam's brother-in-law
would have got.

Another example of social tension is when Mrs Putnam says, "You think
it God's work you should never lose a child, nor a grandchild either,
and I bury all but one?" This is a sarcastic comment from Mrs Putnam
to Rebecca Nurse and it shows that Mrs Putnam is bitter and blames

... middle of paper ...

...riginal audience would have felt very emotional and would have
been able to relate to the characters because it was first shown when
McCarthy's anti-Communist campaign was at its height. The similarities
between these two events were many, for example, the fear shown in the
play towards witches was the same as the fear shown in real life at
the time between the anti-communists and the communists.

I believe that if Arthur Miller had not made the themes of greed and
envy so strong then the tension would not have been as great and the
play would not have been as interesting. These themes were important
in the whole escalation of the witch-hunts and their dramatic purpose
was to create a vibrant yet serious play. The moral purpose of the
play really affects the audience and creates good tension throughout
'The Crucible.'

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