Essay on The Crucible by Arthur Miller
1108 Words5 Pages
The Crucible, takes place in the small Puritan village called Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The witchcraft trials grew out of the moral system of the Puritans. This split the town into two, those who were considered witches and those who wanted good.
The play begins at Reverend Parris' home, whose daughter Betty is ill. Parris is living with his daughter and his seventeen-year old niece Abigail. Parris believes that is daughters illness is from supernatural causes, so he sends for Reverend Hale. Betty first start to look ill after her father discovered her dancing in the woods with Abigail and his Negro slave, Tituba along with several other local girls. There are rumors going around that Betty's sickness is due to…show more content…
He's a scholarly man who looks for signs of the supernatural. Parris tells him about the dancing and Hale questions Abigail asking her if she sold her soul to Lucifer. So Abigail blames Tituba, saying that she forced Abigail and Betty drink blood and that she sent her spirit out. Finally, Putnam says that Tituba must be hanged! When Tituba realized that the only way to save herself is to admit to the charge, she says that the devil came to her and promised to send her back to Barbados.
The second act is about week later. John comes home late after a long day planting in the fields, and Elizabeth thinks that he went to the village. Elizabeth tells John that she must tell the constable that Abigail claims that Betty's sickness has nothing to do with witchcraft, but Proctor says that nobody will believe him because he was alone with Abigail at the time and Elizabeth is disturbed by this. Mary tells them that thirty-nine people have been arrested and Sarah Osburn will hang, but not Sarah Good because she confessed.
John comes in and is weary. He tells the Proctors that Elizabeth's name was brought up and that Rebecca Nurse was charged. Proctor tells Hale what Abigail said about being discovering her in the woods by Parris, but Hale says that its nonsense. Proctor says that these people would certainly confess, if denying it means that they be hanged. Then Hale asks Proctor if he believes in witches. He says that he does but none of them are
Essay about The Crucible by Arthur Miller
981 Words4 Pages
The Crucible was based in 1692 in and around the town of Salem,
Massachusetts, USA. The Salem witch-hunt was view as one of the strangest and most horrendous chapters in the human history. People that were prosecuted were all innocent and their deaths were all due to false accusation of people’s ridiculous belief in superstition and their paranoia. The Puritans in those times were very strict in personal habits and morality; swearing, drunkenness and gambling would be punished. The people of Salem believed in the devil and thought that witchcraft should be hunted out. The play can be seen as a general statement on the effects that fear and fanaticism can have on human beings and how one person can cause such catastrophe.
It…show more content…
Looking at the two historical events, we can see that hysteria was ever-present at the times in which they occurred. It is evident that this hysteria ruined the lives of many people, due to the constant accusations of witches and communists. The events that led up to the Salem witch trails and McCarthyism was also similar. Both events were irrational fears that witchcraft and communism were going to change the face of society if drastic measures were not taken.
People were involved in persecution in both time framed. In Salem, it was the witches who were hunted. With McCarthyism, it was the communists that were hunted. As in America in the 1950s (their assumption being that communists were out there), in The Crucible the villagers of Salem believed that the devil was out there. The people really believed that Lucifer was roaming the streets of Salem seeking to destroy the town and seeking to destroy the institution of the church. In many ways the assumption of devil activity seemed to be a way of finding a scapegoat for the personal problems of the community.
So 'The Crucible' is a subtle way to show what was happening in
America at the time without actually relating to that time. In Salem the accused are the communists and the accusers are McCarthyists. So
John Proctor the hero of Arthur Millers story is the equivalent of a suspected communist in the USA at the time of the cold war.