The Affect Of Power In The Play The Crucible

Power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power (William Gaddis). Puritanism was a powerful religious, social, and political order in New England colonial life. In a Puritan society, humans wanted to reform the Christian church and believed that the devil had servants that worked for him on Earth.

Arthur Millerr’s play, The Crucible, explains the persecution of persons falsely accused of being witches in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. The play portrays power and how that power shifts among the characters. It shows which characters have power and how power can overtake people causing them to abuse it for material gain, self-preservation, or revenge. Two minor characters, Samuel Parris and Thomas Putnam, acquire power; one desperate to keep it and one hungers for more.

Power and authority are the epitome of this Patriarchal Society where men control all: wives, children, servants, courts, and the church. Reverend Samuel Parris holds an important position of authority and places himself even higher than others in the community. He is a weak man, obsessed with power and control, and throughout the play is only concerned with his reputation and money. When challenged, especially by John Proctor, Parris resents this opposition and reminds others that Proctor does not attend church on a regular basis; therefore, his opinion doesn’t matter about reforms to the church. Proctor, a well-respected man in the community, is quick to point out that he dislikes Parris sermons because [he] hardly even mention[s] God any more (Miller 27). Parris is supposed to be a man of the Lord and live a simple life, but his materialistic demands on the community continue throughout the play. Using his religious position, Parris assumes that his newly made contract will support and maintain firewood to last him a lifetime. Much to his dismay, Parris is met with constant opposition and wonders why he cannot offer one proposition but there be a howling riot of argument (Miller 28). Proctor reminds Parris that his salary is sixty-six pounds, including six for firewood. When Parris expresses the need for new, gold candlesticks, Proctor once again openly disagrees and is adamant that he will not attend church in a place where he preach nothin but golden candlesticks until he had them (Miller 62). Parris fear of being put out like the cat, relieving him of his position in Salem, push him to demand the deed to his current residence (Miller 28). Never before in Salem had such a demand been made by a minister, only to be denied. Free firewood, gold candlesticks, and the deed to the house represent Parris greed for material items and his desire for power over anyone who challenges his authority.

Creating chaos throughout the town, Thomas Putnam uses the witch trials to accuse others in order to buy their land and destroy their lives. Although Putnam is a wealthy, land-owning man, nothing seems to satisfy his wants and wishes. After inheriting an extravagant amount of land from his grandfather, Putnam continues to want more. He is not willing to share the land with those in need and becomes angry if anyone enters what he believes is his property. Putnam threatens Proctor that if [he] loads one oak of [his] and [hell] fight to drag it home (Miller 30). Putnam warns Proctor that if he attempts to take anything from his property, then he will have issues with Putnam. Because his brother-in-law is prevented from being voted into the office of ministers, Putnam holds a grudge against Francis Nurse. Along with gaining profit from the misfortune of his enemies, Putnam disciplines them. The only thing Putnam wants is to see people suffer; it makes him feel powerful. Hungry for revenge and to display his power, Putnam encourages his daughter, Ruth, to accuse innocent people of committing witchcraft. Giles questions Putnam about why he would use his teenage daughter to cry witchery upon George Jacobs that is now in jail, but Putnam claims that it is a lie (Miller 89). Putnamr’s plan is to accuse Jacobs of being a witch, so by law, he will be forced to forfeit his property. As Putnamr’s neighbors are found guilty, his acreage expands.

No strong personal relationship can be found that connects Reverend Samuel Parris and Thomas Putnam; however, similarities in their hunger for power is shown throughout the play. Besides family, Putnam is one of the first people to call upon the Parrisr’s house after Betty falls ill. It seems as if Putnam is there to convince Parris that witchcraft is to blame for both Bettyr’s and his daughter, Ruthr’s, sudden illness. Putnam encourages Parris to speak with the townspeople, blaming witches for his daughterr’s sickness. At first, it seems that Putnam wants Parris to denounce the devil and have the village bless him for it, but realistically it appears that Putnam is only looking out for himself. Putnam is angry with the people of Salem for not selecting his brother-in-law as the town minister, so he is going to use Parris position of authority to seek revenge on the people in the community he feels are his enemies. Using unyielding pressure, Putnam is able to convince Parris to commit to the idea of supernatural forces, or witchery, that is the root of Bettyr’s sickness. Once admitted by Reverend Parris, the stage for what becomes Salemr’s witch hunt is set and Putnamr’s desire for revenge and profit fall into place. Some of the primary accusations come from Putnam and are supported by Parris. These two men, among others, use their influence and power to accuse innocent people of illegal acts of witchcraft, which result in nineteen deaths by the time the trials are over.

With great power comes great responsibility (Voltaire); however, few are responsible enough to remain fair. Reverend Samuel Parris and Thomas Putnam use their power as a tool that causes a lot of harm to many people in the town of Salem. Miller reveals how having too much pride in oner’s self will end in your downfall or someone’s demise. The Crucible shows how these two men and their search for power did not gain the respect and social status they feel they deserve and ultimately ended up the same way they began the play. Throughout history, the hunger for power has the potential to make an impact on a personr’s life be it positive or negative. During the Salem Witch Trials, many lives were taken from people because of oner’s pride overpowered all. No one will ever know how or if these deaths could have been prevented, but one can take the lessons learned through the characters, and use them in reality.

John Hale In The Crucible

How is it possible for one to be so benevolent, yet still stimulate so much controversy and even death? In Arthur Millerr’s The Crucible, we see Reverend Haler’s naivety, altruism, and sincere nature that leads him to have too much faith in humanity and cause many issues throughout the play.

At the beginning of The Crucible, we can see Reverend Haler’s altruistic nature, and his desire to help people, a hidden characteristic because of the manipulation he falls for and the aggressive interrogations he does at the beginning of the play. His eagerness to solve problems can sometimes have consequences. Hale is first summoned to Salem by Reverend Parris, so he can examine his daughter, Betty, to determine if she has been afflicted. Before Hale examines Betty, he wants to be sure that Parris is willing to listen to his advice. He tells Parris, We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of Hell upon her (Miller 12). Hale is taking his job seriously and wants to make sure that everyone else is as well. He is not just doing this for money or selfish reasons, but rather uses his skills to help people. After Hale arrives, Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft to clear her name, and as a result, Tituba receives an interrogation from Hale to find out if she is telling the truth and to help Tituba if she is. He tells her to, Take courage, you must give us all their names.

How can you bear to see these children suffering? Look at them, Tituba-look at their God-given innocence; their souls are so tender; we must protect them, Tituba; the devil is out and preying on them like a beast upon the flesh of the pure lamb…God will bless you for your help (17) Hale wants to help the innocent children he thinks have been afflicted, and by recognizing their innocence when talking to Abigail, it is his attempt to trying to help them. Later on, Hale goes to the Proctors home to question them himself before they appear in court, so he does not jump to conclusions about their innocence. When he concludes that they are innocent, he tries to help them. He says, God keeps you both; let the third child be quickly baptized, and go you without fail each Sunday into Sabbath prayer; and keep a solemn, quiet way among you (30). Hale tells the Proctors to try to appear more Christian so no one will question them and their faith. Compared to other characters such as Reverend Parris and Abigail , Hale is not in it to help himself, and he is genuinely trying to help people. Reverend Hale arrives in Salem in response to Reverend Parrisr’s cry for help and although some of the accusations he made may have ended up hurting people, he dedicates his life to his faith and helping people.

In the middle and end of the play, we can see Reverend Haler’s naivety toward the court which later leads to internal conflict and severe consequences. Before Hale jumps to any conclusions, he goes to visit the Proctors to see for himself if he thinks they are innocent. He tells them, ”I am a stranger here, as you know. And in my ignorance, I find it hard to draw a clear opinion of them that come accused before the court (31). Hale is acknowledging the fact that his judgment may be clouded due to the bias of the people whom he is getting information from; therefore, he must make his own decisions. Hale is speaking to Proctor when Elizabeth is being taken away under the charge of witchcraft. Hale pleads, Charity, Proctor, Charity”what I have heard in her favor I will not fear to testify in court. God help me, I cannot judge her guilty nor innocent I know not. Only this consider the world goes mad, and it profits nothing you should lay the cause to the vengeance of a little girl (26). Hale believes that Goody Proctor will be released, but realizes he is wrong and the trust he has within the court fades. Francis Nurse is concerned about the future of his wife after she is charged with witchcraft, and Hale tells him the court make the right decision. He tells Nurse, “Believe me, Mr. Nurse, if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing’s left to stop the whole green world from burning. Let you rest upon the justice of the court; the court will send her home, I know it (31). When Hale says this, it proves that he fully trusts the court. He thinks they will release the innocent and punish the guilty. Coming into Salem, Hale has full trust in the justice system and that they will do their job, however, as the trial progresses, he begins to realize that the court can have alternative motives.

By looking at Reverend Hale at the end of Tthe Crucible, we can see the sincere guilt he has for the innocent people dying. The longer Hale is in Salem, the more aware he becomes of the corruption within the court. Hale is in the vestry room of the Meeting House where an examination is going on when Abigail pretends that Mary Warren, the Proctorr’s maid, is sending sends a freezing wind through the courtroom and is sending her spirit out in the shape of a bird to hurt her. The judge believes Abigail and arrests Proctor and Corey. Hale is outraged by her obvious lies and even goes as far as to quit histhe job. He exclaims, I denounce these proceedings! I quit this court! (57). Hale devotes his life to his job and to quit and announce witchcraft as fraud proves he is a sincere and honest man. This is ironic because many of the other characters in the play do things solely to helping themselves, while Hale is just looking out for other people. After Hale has been gone for some time, he returns to Salem to try to fix what he feels as though it is his fault. He tells Danforth, Why, it is all simple. I come to do the Devil?s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves. There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head! (62). Hale feels responsible for the executions because as they expect in the situation, he feels culpable for the situation. After Proctor is arrested and sentenced to a hanging because of being found guilty, Hale tries to convince Goody Proctor to persuade John to confess, so he does not die. He tells Goody Proctor, I would save your husband?s life, for if he is taken I count myself his murderer. Do you understand me? (63). Hale wants so desperately for Proctor to confess because he blames himself and does not want another death on his hands. Hale believes too much in the honesty of the court and leads him to be guilty.

After studying Reverend John Hale in depth, one can come to the conclusion that although he may have caused a few problems throughout the play, he still always had goodwill. Hale truly believed he was doing the right thing, but is easily manipulated. This is prevalent in our society, when one has too much faith in people, allowing them to be easily taken advantage of.How is it possible for one to be so benevolent, yet still stimulate so much controversy and even death? In Arthur Millerr’s The Crucible, we see Reverend Haler’s naivety, altruism, and sincere nature that leads him to have too much faith in humanity and cause many issues throughout the play.

At the beginning of The Crucible, we can see Reverend Haler’s altruistic nature, and his desire to help people, a hidden characteristic because of the manipulation he falls for and the aggressive interrogations he does at the beginning of the play. His eagerness to solve problems can sometimes have consequences. Hale is first summoned to Salem by Reverend Parris, so he can examine his daughter, Betty, to determine if she has been afflicted. Before Hale examines Betty, he wants to be sure that Parris is willing to listen to his advice. He tells Parris, We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of Hell upon her (Miller 12). Hale is taking his job seriously and wants to make sure that everyone else is as well. He is not just doing this for money or selfish reasons, but rather uses his skills to help people. After Hale arrives, Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft to clear her name, and as a result, Tituba receives an interrogation from Hale to find out if she is telling the truth and to help Tituba if she is. He tells her to, Take courage, you must give us all their names.

How can you bear to see these children suffering? Look at them, Tituba-look at their God-given innocence; their souls are so tender; we must protect them, Tituba; the devil is out and preying on them like a beast upon the flesh of the pure lamb…God will bless you for your help (17) Hale wants to help the innocent children he thinks have been afflicted, and by recognizing their innocence when talking to Abigail, it is his attempt to trying to help them. Later on, Hale goes to the Proctors home to question them himself before they appear in court, so he does not jump to conclusions about their innocence. When he concludes that they are innocent, he tries to help them. He says, God keeps you both; let the third child be quickly baptized, and go you without fail each Sunday into Sabbath prayer; and keep a solemn, quiet way among you (30). Hale tells the Proctors to try to appear more Christian so no one will question them and their faith. Compared to other characters such as Reverend Parris and Abigail , Hale is not in it to help himself, and he is genuinely trying to help people. Reverend Hale arrives in Salem in response to Reverend Parrisr’s cry for help and although some of the accusations he made may have ended up hurting people, he dedicates his life to his faith and helping people.

In the middle and end of the play, we can see Reverend Haler’s naivety toward the court which later leads to internal conflict and severe consequences. Before Hale jumps to any conclusions, he goes to visit the Proctors to see for himself if he thinks they are innocent. He tells them, ”I am a stranger here, as you know. And in my ignorance, I find it hard to draw a clear opinion of them that come accused before the court (31). Hale is acknowledging the fact that his judgment may be clouded due to the bias of the people whom he is getting information from; therefore, he must make his own decisions. Hale is speaking to Proctor when Elizabeth is being taken away under the charge of witchcraft. Hale pleads, Charity, Proctor, Charity”what I have heard in her favor I will not fear to testify in court. God help me, I cannot judge her guilty nor innocent I know not. Only this consider”the world goes mad, and it profits nothing you should lay the cause to the vengeance of a little girl (26). Hale believes that Goody Proctor will be released, but realizes he is wrong and the trust he has within the court fades. Francis Nurse is concerned about the future of his wife after she is charged with witchcraft, and Hale tells him the court make the right decision. He tells Nurse, “Believe me, Mr. Nurse, if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing’s left to stop the whole green world from burning. Let you rest upon the justice of the court; the court will send her home, I know it (31). When Hale says this, it proves that he fully trusts the court. He thinks they will release the innocent and punish the guilty. Coming into Salem, Hale has full trust in the justice system and that they will do their job, however, as the trial progresses, he begins to realize that the court can have alternative motives.

By looking at Reverend Hale at the end of Tthe Crucible, we can see the sincere guilt he has for the innocent people dying. The longer Hale is in Salem, the more aware he becomes of the corruption within the court. Hale is in the vestry room of the Meeting House where an examination is going on when Abigail pretends that Mary Warren, the Proctorr’s maid, is sending sends a freezing wind through the courtroom and is sending her spirit out in the shape of a bird to hurt her. The judge believes Abigail and arrests Proctor and Corey. Hale is outraged by her obvious lies and even goes as far as to quit histhe job. He exclaims, I denounce these proceedings! I quit this court! (57). Hale devotes his life to his job and to quit and announce witchcraft as fraud proves he is a sincere and honest man. This is ironic because many of the other characters in the play do things solely to helping themselves, while Hale is just looking out for other people. After Hale has been gone for some time, he returns to Salem to try to fix what he feels as though it is his fault. He tells Danforth, Why, it is all simple. I come to do the Devil?s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves. There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head! (62). Hale feels responsible for the executions because as they expect in the situation, he feels culpable for the situation. After Proctor is arrested and sentenced to a hanging because of being found guilty, Hale tries to convince Goody Proctor to persuade John to confess, so he does not die. He tells Goody Proctor, I would save your husband?s life, for if he is taken I count myself his murderer. Do you understand me? (63). Hale wants so desperately for Proctor to confess because he blames himself and does not want another death on his hands. Hale believes too much in the honesty of the court and leads him to be guilty.

After studying Reverend John Hale in depth, one can come to the conclusion that although he may have caused a few problems throughout the play, he still always had goodwill. Hale truly believed he was doing the right thing, but is easily manipulated. This is prevalent in our society, when one has too much faith in people, allowing them to be easily taken advantage of.

About Abigailr’s intentions

Girls were running in circles screaming and yelling throwing thing they have captured into a fire they had made to talk to the devil yelling names of men and dancing.

Differences from the movie and play are different because in the movie Abigail bit and drank chicken blood when all the girls where in a circle and Abigail danced naked as in the play it did not talk about how Abigail drank blood or ran in circles naked, her uncle then saw and heard something suspicious and went to go see what was going on and he had saw all the girls dancing and laughing in circles and he had saw Abigail was naked and then the girls ran off screaming.

Later in the movie when John Proctor was getting his horse outside behind a house Abigail had come over to talk to john proctor Abigailr’s intentions were to kiss him and touch him and she wanted him to kiss and touch Abigail back but as Abigail went and kissed john proctor he pushed Abigail away and told her he’s in love with his wife that he has no place for Abigail as in the play john proctor and Abigail did not kiss and did not touch each other as they did in the movie.

Later in the movie when they were having their witch trials Abigail and the group of girls were more very over dramatic about things that she made up to try and accuse the person of being a witch like when she had said that mary warren was making the devil talk to her and after everything mary said they repeated as in the play Abigail and the girls weren’t so dramatic when they were in the witch trials and did not repeat everything mary said.

Tituba was a girl who was laughing and dancing with the girls she was the main one who started the whole thing with the fire and dancing she was the one was was bringing the spirits out and talking to the devil the difference between the movie and play is that tituba was whipped for talking to the devil and because of that little girls were sick and wouldn’t wake up and in the play she was not whipped for the things she done.

The Storyline Of The Crucible

In this story called the Crucible is offered in a book and a movie.In each version there are similarities and differences. I have discovered some along the way which I will be talking about . Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” the book uses the Salem witch trials to explore what happens when someone accuses someone else of treason or corruption without having any proof.

The fist similarity between the book and movie is that it shows Reverend Parris greed for money. It shows he is also greedy for housing situations. Even though this is a similarity the movie portrays this image a little better. In this scene in the movie Reverend Parris is ranting about his yearly salary. When Hale walks through the door his behavior has completely changed. The next similarity is that Mary Warren attempts to tell the court that Abigail is lying.The girls follow Abigailr’s example by looking/pointing at a yellow bird. Mary had screamed and the girls mimicked her to make it seem as if John Proctor forced her to falsely confess the girls were lying.However , another similarity is that both the book and the movie portray Abigail in the manner. Abigail Williams has negative behavioral traits that include lying, deceit, spitefulness, jealousy and manipulation. Her actions wound up in nine-teen innocent people being hung. Two girls could not wake in both the film and story.I have talked some of the similarities between both the book and the movie. There are a few differences between the two. One of them is taking place during Cheeverr’s visit to arrest Elizabeth.

Even though Cheever comes for Elizabeth in both there are little differences occurring in the scene. Such as in the movie the kids are awake and crying for their mother to not be arrested. While in the book the kids were asleep and she tells John to tell them when they wake.In the book there is five girls who were dancing in the woods. In the film there is twelve girls making love potions and then dancing in the woods.Another difference is in the movie where the girls were ganging up on Mary Warren in a separate room and in court.In the text they only gang up on her only in the courtroom. Also, when Abigail is about to run away she goes to John and convince him to go with her. In the book she never goes to visit him. Which means she never tried to convince John to run away with her. In general the two girls couldnt wake but when Betty wakes up she cries out for her mother.

I thought the storyline, in general, was well written and performed. Both the versions had strong spot, as well as weak spots. In each version there are some things that were changed or added to one version and not to the other. For instance, a couple similarities are when they portray Abigail and Reverend Parris the same in both. Also, when Mary Warren tries to tell the court that Abigail and the girls were lying.Some things that are changed are the events in Elizabethr’s arrest. In the book the kids were asleep and in the film they were watching and crying. Lastly, last but not least when Abigail is running away in the movie she pays a visit to John to try and convince him tang along with her. In the book Abigail just leaves and doesnt try to get John to go with her. So, overall this story is showing us that anyone can be accused without any proof of any kind.

Hysteria In The Crucible

Whenever hysteria occurs, it appears to tolerate the misinterpretation of reality, unspeakable actions and baseless allegations causing societies to break. In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller the author of the book, depicts this throughout the story. The Crucible takes place in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692.

There are several key settings throughout the story. The entire book is about how an insignificant group of girls create mass hysteria in a small town, and how it impacts hundreds of people. The story begins when a group of girls dance in the woods with a black slave named Tituba. While they dance, they are discovered by Reverend Parris, the local minister of Salem. Betty, Parris daughter, fall unconscious on the ground when she sees him. Soon people gather up in Parris home while rumors about witchcraft go around the town.

Everything and everyone in Salem simply belongs to God or to the devil; argument is not merely illegal, it is linked with satanic activity. This contrast functions as the underlying logic of why the witch trials take place. Hysteria plays an important role in the town of Salem through power of manipulation and fear which is evident in the decisions of those who accuse, those who are accused and those who judge them.

Back in history, women usually stayed at home, cleaned the house and cooked and sewed. They didnt go out to work as often and many girls didnt even get to go to school. Men were considered to be much more important than women, white people were considered of high status than any other race and the wealthy had more position and power than the poor. The Crucible portrays these divisions, and privileges that certain characters have over the other and how they accuse and manipulate people to their own advantage.

Firstly, when Parris say, Such a Christian that will not come to church but once in a month!(Miller 84) or Her’s come to overthrow this court, Your Honour(Miller 85). He is unhesitant to blame people that didn’t like him, and tries to win favour in the town by being a kiss-up to the judges. Also, in his desperate attempt to protect his reputation, he conveniently hid the fact that Abigail Williams had been caught casting spells in the forest. As Miller says,the paranoid, real or pretended, always secretes its pearl around a grain of fact. Blinded by keeping their public reputation, the people of Salem fear that the sins of their friends, family and their close ones will taint their names. Furthermore, Mrs. Putnams believes, If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property…killing neighbors for their land(Miller 89). She was too obsessed on blaming other people for the death of her children. She had already turned to witchcraft to find out who murdered her children and without a thought she jumped on the accusation bandwagon. As Miller says, Not everybody was accused, after all, so there must be some reason why you were. Thomas caused his daughter to cry out against people whose land he wanted to acquire when they were imprisoned. This shows that hysteria only thrives because people benefit from it.

Likewise, there is Abigail Williams who accuses Mary Warren,But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary(Miller 106). When people are inclined to die for a justification, unfortunately they’re often willing to kill for that same justification. In The Crucible, the belief that witchcraft was a manifestation of Satan’s presence in their town caused them, in their religious vehemence, to eradicate or kill any indications of witchcraft that was thought to be against god. As Weales says, A mood of mass hysteria in which guilt and confession become public virtues. Abby realizes the power of hysteria and uses the situation to accuse Mary Warren of witchcraft and have her sent to jail. This was significant because if someone was accused and denied the accusations, they were immediately hung, but if one confessed, all they did was muddy their names and not stay true to their faith.

Consequently, the people of Salem accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of sincere religious holiness or devotion but also because it gives them an opportunity to express repressed sentiments and resentments.

Hysteria also plays out in destroying several innocent peopler’s lives, mainly because the people of Salem committed ridiculously irrational acts guided by their suppressed emotions, for instance rage and greed or out of utter oafishness. This shows how easy it is for people to accuse one another without any hard evidence due to the fickle nature of the court in town.

This is best illustrated through Giles Corey when he said, It discomfits me! Last night – mark this – I tried and tried and could not say my prayers. And then she close her book and walks out of the house, and suddenly – mark this – I could pray again!(Miller 38). Later in the story his wife is being accused of cursing the pigs and reading fortunes and when asked the name of the accuser, they say it was Giles who accused her own wife. When she is arrested, he regrets talking about the books and tells the court that he only said she read them, not that she was into witchcraft. But it was already too late. In the same way, Elizabeth, John Proctorr’s wife was accused by Abigail Williams who wanted to get rid of his wife so they can be together. But John realizes his sins and confesses to the court of Adultery and the only reason why Abigail is accusing his wife is that she wants to replace her, as John announces, But it is a whorer’s vengeance(102).

As Ditsky observes, The case of Abigail involves moral choice in spite of enlightenment of sorts of the side of wrong by this partner in John Proctorr’s love affair. When Elizabeth finds out that Abigail is the one who accused her, she immediately tells John that Abigail is taking a big chance in accusing her, since Elizabeth is a farmerr’s wife with some status. But little did she know that Abigail is gambling it all to go after John. Consequently, John tries to convince Mary Warren to testify against her, but Abigail, through her manipulative ability shifts the accusation back onto Mary. In a foolish attempt to save herself, Mary charges John that he forced her to do by saying,He come at me by night and every day to sign, to sign, to-(Miller 121).

In brief, the unrelenting desire to want more and own more generated an environment that vitalized falsehood, deception and manipulation among neighbours. This draws the extreme lengths the characters are willing to go to and the innocent lives they are ready to destroy just to have the thing they desire leads to the witch trials.

Many characters struggle with judgement before and after the events in the story, trying to figure out if the outcomes of their actions are just or not. Making a judgement on somebody may seem harmless and inconspicuous, but it can be catastrophic. The Crucible outlines this through peopler’s poor judgement that led to mass hysteria and calamity in the town of Salem.

Take for example Danforth who said, Do you know Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Haven is speaking through the children?(82). Danforth has already decided that the girls are innocent and are speaking truthfully, that God is speaking through them, and so anyone they accuse must automatically be guilty. This is clearly the kind of bias that prevents people from getting fair trials and assigns an absurd amount of power to the undeserving. As Miller says, the plot justified the crushing of all nuance, all the shading that a realistic judgement of reality requires. Danforthr’s Judgement, which he is always very single-minded and strict about, is obviously wrong: Elizabeth, Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse are not witches at all. Danforth cant change his mind, even after all the evidence, reasoning and rationale points him towards being wrong. Danforth mindlessly believes that a reliable judge must never reconsider his stance.

In contrast, there is Hale who confronts, Excellency, I have signed seventy-two death warrants; I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it(Miller 92). As the story goes on, his motive starts to change. When faced with the truth, he is unsure about accepting his mistake, probably because he never imagined the idea of the accusers being wrong. If this was the case, then all the death warrants he has signed where a mistake, resulting in the innocent deaths being placed on his shoulders. Also, confessing his sins would automatically destroy his reputation as well as publicr’s trust. Lastly, Hathorne with a mystical tone, says: God be praised! It is a providence!” He rushes out the door, and his voice is heard calling down the corridor, ”He will confess! Proctor will confess!”(127). As time, the executions go by, Danforth and Hathorne stay convicted of the authority and truth of the court. Hathorne becomes extremely joyful when John Proctor is ready to falsely confess to witchcraft. Hathorne regrets nothing.

As a result, hysteria overrides logic and allows people to believe that their neighbours, whom they have always considered honest and upright people, are committing ridiculous and far-fetched crimes namely interacting with the devil, killing babies, and so on.

In conclusion, hysteria plays a major role in bringing unreasonable acts to the people of Salem. There is no room for deviation from social norms, as anyone whose private life is not in accordance with established moral laws poses a threat not only to the public good but also to God and his religion. This creates an environment in which people act on their grievance and resentments, which is illustrated by many characters throughout the story, as they eventually destroy each other in the process. Hysteria is displayed by societies all over the world. It is a crucial aspect in establishing and, in particular, breaking relationships.

The Use Of Light And Dark In The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller was written in 1952 and published in 1953. Miller uses light and darkness as symbols, a way portray tone and a way to characterize the character in the play. He also uses symbolism as a way to foreshadow the events that will take place later on in the play.

Light in this story is connected to good and divinity. Even Though this is never stated in the story, it is safe to assume since light has been connected to these many times before in other stories. As stated in How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised: a Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines What the database relies upon, naturally, is repetition. If enough writers use a given object or situation in enough works, we start to recognize and understand the range of possible meanings (Foster 242). Since many other stories before The Crucible have used the connection of light to divinity and/ or good, it is safe to assume that this story will do the same.

In Act 1 of The Crucible light is seen in the first few sentences of the introduction. The stage directions call for a narrow window in the left part of the room with light shining through it and a candle burning next to Reverend Parris who is kneeling beside the bed while praying. The open window and burning candle symbolizes an opening to God. Here, Reverend is praying for his daughter who he believes had been witched. By symbolizing the opening to God, it is evident from the beginning how much they rely on God or the church to fix their problems and lead them the right way. In the introduction that is leading into the dialogue of Act 1, it explains that they believed they held the candle that would light the world (Miller 22). The candle here represents knowledge and by lighting the world, they believe they will cause both an intellectual and spiritual enlightenment for everyone. In the introduction to Hale, it is stated that his goal is light (Miller 41). His goal being light means that he hopes to bring holiness and peace to the people of the town by leading them which is why he plays a big part in the trials.

In Act 2 of The Crucible, when discussing baptism, Proctor justifies his decision of not baptizing all his children by stating that he sees no light of God (Miller 60) in the pastor.. Since light is used to represent holiness and knowledge, this can be taken two ways. Proctor either believes that Reverend of the town knows nothing of God or he has no holiness to him. Aside from symbolism it also serves to characterize John Proctor. By doubting the holiness of the priest, it is shown that he is not so susceptible to the control of the church. He’s not as profoundly into the church and isn’t driven by it completely like most of the town is. Another instance is when Hale is talking about murder and he is worried that it was never brought to light (Miller 68). Bringing something to light means to acknowledge it or make it known so this also shows that Hale has only good intentions since he doesn’t want to hide any murders.

The mention of the dark/darkness also serves as symbolism as well as characterization, similar to how light did. In almost every situation, light and darkness are the complete opposite of each other. Therefore, it is only natural that darkness is the symbolism for evil and demons. it is believed that the demons are afraid of the light hence their relationship to the darkness. People believe that darkness foreshadows the coming of evil. It is also a common thing for people to fear the dark. This is because the dark represents the unknown and death, two things that terrify humans. In the end, darkness is and will almost always be connected to negativity and/or evil.

In the first act of The Crucible the town is described as having a few small-windowed, dark houses (Miller 22). This helps set the tone for the play since a dark town seems ominous. When Mr. Putnam accuses a witch of being bound to keep herself in the dark, it can be taken two ways. She is either trying to keep herself hidden and not be acknowledged since the dark represents that unknown. The other possibility is that she is at all costs going to stay on the evil path. Another instance of the dark being a symbolism od cause of the unknown was when Titube was co testing yet she couldn’t tell her whole confession because according to her, it was black dark (Miller 47)

In the second act of The Crucible, the scene starts of in a low, dark and rather long living room (Miller 49). The darkness here does two things. The first thing it does is set an Ominous tone like it did in the first scene. The second thing it does is foreshadow the tragedies caused by evil that are to come later in that scene. When Hale is speaking about the powers of the dark attacking their village, it shows how controlled they ate by Abigail because not for one second do they doubt her. It shows that Hale is a man that is easily persuaded and extremely gullible.

Works Cited

  1. Gale, Thomson. Light and Darkness. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed, Encyclopedia.com, 2018,www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/light-and-darkness.
  2. Kampf, Diane. Dark & Light Symbolism in Literature. Pen and the Pad, 21 Nov. 2017, penandthepad.com/dark-light-symbolism-literature-12280020.html.
  3. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, Penguin Books, 2003. PDF file.
  4. Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised: a Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines. Harper Perennial, 2014.

Analysis Of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The communist witch hunt was a time of unjust persecution and false accusations, with many similarities with a previous event; the Salem witch hunt. The Salem witch hunt, though on a much smaller scale, was still devastating to their economy, and hurt them for a long time after that. There are many similarities between the communist witch hunt and the Salem witch hunt, but there are also many differences.

The biggest one that comes to mind, would be how much they affected America as a whole. Of course there are more examples of all the differences, but well start out with the context behind all of the propaganda.

Contents

  • 1 Salem
  • 2 McCarthyism
  • 3 Similarities:
  • 4 Differences:
  • 5 Conclusion:

Salem

In Salem, Massachusetts practically everyone in that town was religious. In fact, the laws of Salem relied heavily on the Bible. You were more likely to get in trouble for being drunk or talking blasphemy then you would be for stealing something. Some punishments included being whipped, being dunked into the water, hanging, and paying fines. This was just for minor stuff, so it must have been terrible for them when they thought that they had witches.

Everyone started freaking out, especially since it started with the local Reverend’s daughter and niece. They thought that anyone could be a witch, and so mass hysteria broke out. Neighbors were accusing neighbors because of a simple rivalry, they even put two dogs to death because they mightve been involved in witchcraft. The people who really put this power into play though were the Putnams. They were the richest people in the town and they wanted more land, so they started accusing their neighbors of being witches because if you confessed, then your land would be sold for auction. At some point, they accused Giles Corey and his wife, Martha, but they died with honor and didnt confess so that their children could have their land.

McCarthyism

1950s America was also very religious, though the population was a lot bigger than it was in Salem. The 1950r’s were a lot less extreme in the religion department though. It is, after all, in our basic civil rights to practice whatever religion we want to, or to practice no religion at all. One of the main reasons that America was a lot more religious was because of the baby boom, the rising population decided to move into suburban places, and there were a lot of churches there. Most people wanted their children to grow up good, and so they decided to start trying out different churches to try and best make sure that their children were upright. In fact, it is estimated that about 57% of the population was religious in 1950.

America was already weary of communists at the time because of the Cold War, but McCarthy fanned the flame when he accused his rival for senate seat of being a communist. America started freaking out because there was no way an Atheist communist could be in our good Christian country. Other people used this to their advantage, mostly to try and get elected into office. This wasnt neccessarily true for just house seats either, oh no. It could be for anything, like anyone who produced any type of media. Two people might have opposing views, and then suddenly one of themr’s a communist, and has to be taken in to the state for questioning. They would also immediately blacklist those people (actors, actresses, directors, etc.).

Similarities:

The Crucible by Arthur Miller and the communist witch hunt have many similarities. One of them would be that the social repercussions of being accused are quite similar. If you were accused of being a witch in Salem, then you were tried unfairly, you mightve been beaten into submission, you might get away with it if you falsely confessed. If you were accused of being a communist during the Age of McCarthyism, then you would be taken to the HUAAC (House of Un-American Activities Committee) for questioning, youd be pressured into giving out names of other communists, you also couldnt defend yourself using the Fifth Amendment or else it wouldve been considered suspicious.

Another thing worth mentioning is that Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as an allegory for the Communist witch hunt. While the Salem witch trials was an actual event that took place, Miller saw the similarities and decided to write a book about it. Miller himself was accused of being a communist after publishing his book, and refused to testify in front of the HUAC. While he was blacklisted in Hollywood, there were still plenty of other places that enjoyed his masterpiece. Germany even liked it so much, that they put on a play of it, and Miller and his wife were invited.

Differences:

While they do have many similarities, they also have many differences. The most obvious one would be that the types of people targeted were very different. In Salem, the ones who were most accused were the poor people, or the people who were already convicted of doing a crime. In fact, the trials really only stopped once people who had a much higher stature in their society got accused . Itr’s quite the opposite in the case of the communist witch hunt; they mostly went after people who were of a higher stature like those in the senate, or someone influential like media producers. The only reason it stopped, was because McCarthy tried to accuse the military, but lost and started losing his popularity.

Another difference is what those in power thought that they were accomplishing. Those in Salem thought that they were doing a good thing by trying to get rid of all of those witches. Those in power during the McCarthyism age though were really only in on it so that they could get more popular so that they could get elected into office. Those intentions vary case to case though. Maybe some of those in Salem just wanted to get popular, and maybe those in the HUAC thought that they were doing the right thing.

Conclusion:

In retrospect, both of those things that happened to us was devastating at the time. Innocents were thrown in jail, peoples lives were ruined. There are many similarities and differences, but only you can decide if itr’s more similar or different.

‘The Crucible’ by Artur Miller

For this year’s Celebration of the Arts, the ‘Trinity Theatre Players’ will be performing Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, but with a significant twist. They will be presenting a series of deleted scenes that could have been (but weren’t) included in the actual text.

Your task is to write the SCRIPT of a deleted scene for the play. It should occur at a specific point within the play and develop the storyline further. It may provide insight into the life of a minor character or add depth around a character’s actions/decisions that occur in the play. You will also need to include the relevant stage directions and setting descriptions.

The subject matter contained within your scene cannot alter the events of the play and your character representationsmust be in keeping with the original text.

You may select one of the ideas listed below or have another option approved by your teacher.

  • At the meeting house, where one character is defending themselves against charges of witchcraft/making an accusation of witchcraft against another character (with supporting ‘evidence’).
  • In the forest, amidst a frenzied discussion between the girls around their choices, morals and possible consequences of their behaviour.

On the way to the gallows, before the curtain falls, during a final and very candid conversation between John, Hale and Rebecca – the three ‘sensible’ members of Salem.

Contents

  • 1 TRINITY COLLEGE, BEENLEIGH – WRITTEN IMAGINATIVE CRITERIA
  • 2 NAME:
  • 3 COMMENT:    Grade

TRINITY COLLEGE, BEENLEIGH – WRITTEN IMAGINATIVE CRITERIA

NAME:

1.Understanding and responding to contexts

The student work has the following characteristics:

* exploitation of the conventions of a dramatic text  to engage readers

* discerning selection, organisation and synthesis of relevant and substantive subject matter to support opinions and perspectives.

* manipulation and control of the writer’s role and their relationship with readers.

* effective control of the conventions of  a dramatic text  to engage readers

* effective selection, organisation and synthesis of relevant subject matter to support opinions and perspectives

* establishment and control of the writer’s role and their relationships with readers.

* use of the conventions of a dramatic text to engage readers

* selection, sequencing and organisation of relevant subject matter to support opinions and perspectives

* establishment and  maintenance  of the writer’s rol“““e and their relationships with readers

* use of aspects of the conventions  of a dramatic text  to achieve some purpose

* selection and organisation of subject matter to support opinions and perspectives

* establishment of some of the writer’s role and relationships with readers.

* use of aspects of a dramatic text

* selection of some  subject matter to state an opinion

* use of roles of the writer.

2.Understanding and controlling textual features

The student work has the following characteristics:

* a discerning combination of a range of grammatically accurate language structures for specific effects, including clauses and sentences

*discerning use of cohesive devices to develop and emphasise ideas and connect parts of the written text including paragraphing

* discerning use of a wide range of apt vocabulary

* discerning use of conventional spelling, punctuation and stage directions.

* control of a range of grammatically  accurate language structures to achieve effects including clauses and sentences

*effective use of cohesive devices to develop and maintain ideas and connect parts of the written text including paragraphing

* effective use of a range of apt vocabulary

* effective use of conventional spelling, punctuation and stage directions.

* use of a range of mostly grammatically accurate language structures to achieve purposes including clauses and sentences

*use of  cohesive devices to link ideas and connect parts of the text including paragraphing

* use of suitable vocabulary

* suitable use of spelling, punctuation and stage directions.

* inconsistency in the use of grammar and language structures to meet a purpose

*use of  some appropriate cohesive devices to connect parts of the text including paragraphing

* use of vocabulary that varies in suitability for a dramatic text.

* use of  spelling, punctuation and stage directions that vary in suitability

*grammar and language structures that impede meaning

*some connections between parts of the text

* use of  vocabulary that distracts from purpose

* Spelling,  punctuation and stage directions  that distract from meaning

  1. Creating meaning

The student work has the following characteristics:

* discerning manipulation of the ways ideas, attitudes and values underpin the dramatic text and influence readers

* subtle and complex creation of perspectives and representations of concepts, identities, times and places

* discerning use of aesthetic features *

* effective manipulation of the ways, ideas, attitudes and values underpin the dramatic text and influence readers

* effective creation of perspectives and representations  of concepts, identities, times and places

* effective use of aesthetic features*

* appropriate use of the ways ideas, attitudes and values underpin the dramatic text and influence readers

* creation of perspectives and representations of concepts, identities, times and places

* use of aesthetic features* to achieve a purpose

* use of ideas, attitudes and values that underpin the dramatic text

* creation of some perspectives and representations of concepts, identities, times and places

* use of aesthetic features* to achieve some purpose

* use of ideas in texts

* creation of some concepts, identities, times and places

* use of some aesthetic features*

  • Aesthetic Features: Imagery, metaphors, representation, symbolism and dialogue

COMMENT:    Grade

The play Crucible is a play that was written by Arthur Miller and first performed on January 22 in 1953 at the Martin Beck Theatre as time went by he found some the style of production as cold and very stylized he was almost dropping it as he thought he was becoming hostile. The play has been formally accounted for as the central work of the American drama canon.

One of the deleted scenes in this play is at the meeting house, where by one character is defending themselves against charges of witchcraft and makes the accusations of witchcraft against another character. In this deleted panorama, Abigail meets up with Proctor where their discussion is on the town’s happenings. She claims to have mentally suffered for the town’s sakes. She has physical exhibits depicting her suffering she has some holes on her feet. She has a wound in the abdomen which she claims Proctor’s spirit revives each and every night. To the audience who are well aware of the fact that there is no connection between Abigail and witchcraft neither does she have the ability of seeing spirits, Abigail materializes as insane. She is sufficiently insane to a point of self- mutilating her body so that Salem’s court can believe her. She selflessly deceives her own thinking and inner self that she will get married to John someday. It becomes evident to all on how Abigail is deceived. Therefore John decides to stop the influence she has been enjoying over the court. He decides to blackmail her by threatening to expose their secret love in the court room this prompts Abigail to accuse the people of Salem who she commonly refers to as hypocrites for stealing the innocence, goodness and honesty of John. Abigail claims that John hates Elizabeth; his wife, and that he will get married to Abigail on the event that Elizabeth droops for witchcraft.

The scene is important as the reader is now able to see the extensive consequences of witch court trials on the character of Abigail. Regarding the character development in the play, this happens to be the best of all the scenes present. The sudden respectful power and fear of Abigail is shown having seized completely her wits and discarded them off through the door. The scene shows that Abigail is power thirst no more but rather her new motives are of playing a spirits victim while in the court room. It is only in this scene where Abigail’s motive is accusing witchcraft on the people of the town instead of executing revenge on John’s wife. She has overtime learnt of the hypocrisy of the people who pretend to be good but are however so evil.

The reasons for deletion of this important scene are depicted below. Abigail’s new attribute as insane and deluded is present only in this deleted scene and therefore we can theorize that Arthur perhaps wanted to develop a vengeful character that is no insane. Of course Abigail was not expected to become insane but rather the author needed to reveal to the writers what would be the outcome of unscrupulous gullibility of power. Based on this scene, the man’s downfall is not blamed on individual sanity or insanity levels, but rather on the individual’s deceitful and manipulative behaviour.

In conclusion, as it is evident that Abigail together with other girls have allowed power to be in control of them. Without having this scene as deleted, this is far much evident. Obsession of Abigail with power appears as enough for the readers to comprehend without really questioning her sanity levels.

Political Essay Example for College Students

Theatre academic and cultural commentator Christopher Bigsby makes the point that theatre, as opposed to, say, the novel, is essentially a public experience (2000, p. 9). Where a novel may make comment on political issues, it does do in private, in a one-to-one relationship between author and reader.

A play, on the other hand, is written for the public: it is experienced live and with a live audience of others who are experiencing the same production as you are in the same moment. This, for Bigsby, is what makes theatre uniquely poised to draw parallels between the specifics of the drama on stage, and the generalities of the social and political contexts of the play’s writing, its original and its revival productions. This essay will examine this in relationship to twentieth century American politics and society. It will do this by drawing on two preeminent examples of US theatre from different generations of writing: The Crucible by Arthur Miller, and Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet. The political contexts of both plays will be considered, and thematic and textual aspects will be considered, alongside critical and wider reactions and responses to the plays, both at the time of their first presentations, and over time. Two different approaches to using drama as commentary will be introduced and explored: allegory and specific example. The Crucible was Arthur Miller’s third major play, coming after 1947’s All My Sons and 1952’s Death of a Salesman. Miller was by then established as a major playwright, having won the Pulitzer Prize for Salesman (Pfister 2005). Miller later commented that: the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up a new relationship between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us know more, and not merely to spend our feelings (Miller, in Pfister 2005). It was in The Crucible that Miller would explore these connections, by writing a play that would make allegorical comment on contemporary American politics and society. The use of the Massachusetts witch trials as a device for theatrical comment on contemporary America was not one unique to Miller. Welland (1979, pp. 74-5) notes that three other plays had done so in the previous decade. Marion Starkey, author of 1949’s The Devil in Massachusetts, comments thusly in her introduction to her play: “[o]ne would like to hope that leaders of the modern world can in the end deal with delusion as sanely and courageously as the men of old Massachusetts dealt with theirs” (in Welland, 1979, pp. 74-5). The issue by 1952, the year prior to The Crucible’s first performance, was that of the congressional investigation into un-American activities headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy (Bigsby, 2000, p. 87-8). The McCarthy hearings, seeking to unmask Communist sympathisers in the contexts of a United States that was wary of the world order post-1945, the fresh superpower dynamic between the States and the USSR, and the emerging superpower antipathy between those two nations, were seen by Miller – and many other liberals – as a threat to the nation (Bigsby 2000, 88). Miller said (quoted in Bigsby, 2000, p. 88) that “there was a new religiosity in the air … conscience was no longer a private matter but one of state administration. I saw men handing conscience to other men and thanking other men for the opportunity of doing so”. The Crucible tells the story of the witch trials, focusing on the character of John Proctor.Proctor first seeks to query the burgeoning fear gripping the Salem community when the witchcraft allegations are first made, and then is drawn in as the charges widen to include his household; he is forced to defend himself and his conscience. The inquisitorial manner of the legalistic Puritans who pursue the truth behind the allegations soon becomes overtaken by a zeal to find all who are accused guilty by whatever means possible. Welland (1979, p. 84-5) states the experience of watching the play “is to be overwhelmed by the simple impotence of honest common sense against fanaticism that is getting out of control”, and provides a reminder that “sheer goodness … is just not enough to counter such deviousness”. The language of the powerful overwhelms: it “establish[es] the grammar of human relationships, who determine the vocabulary in which the social debate is conducted” (Bigsby, 2000, p. 90). Proctor in the play – and by extension those in the 1950s theatre audience who are subject to McCarthyite inquisition, or who have sympathies with them – finds himself caught in their rhetoric and in their discourse, and is entrapped in their language. Though to some extent The Crucible is indelibly linked to the contexts of its writing and first performance, it has proved to “not be limited to its time” (Bigsby, 2000, p. 93). The play is frequently revived and is given fresh vitality and currency by its allegoric nature: a play of the 1950s set in that time and which approached the McCarthy-led hearings head-on might well have less of the universality of Miller’s piece, which has since been staged and restaged widely, from the 2014 London Old Vic revival to “a successful production in the 1980s in the Peoples Republic of China” (Bigsby, 2000, p. 93). Whereas Arthur Miller tackled a specific political reality in the context of the Cold War, in his 1983 play Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet examined something more nebulous, though still a political reality of its time: that of capitalism and of corporate greed in the Reagan era. Ronald Reagan was US president from 1980 to 1988 and in many ways the American counterpart of the UK’s Margaret Thatcher (prime minister from 1979 to 1991) in pursuing a free market-oriented and commercial-focused agenda within a wider brief of opposing what turned out to be the latter day of the Cold War (Kopkind, 2004). Both administrations promised to “to implement parallel monetarist, free market, and incentive-based economic policies” (Cooper, 2013). For Bigsby (2000, p. 213) Glengarry Glen Ross is, like earlier Mamet stage productions, is “a play ‘set deeply in the milieu of capitalism’, an idea which [Mamet] suggests has exhausted itself”. The play concerns a group of real-estate salesmen led by Richard “Ricky” Roma, and their office manager Williamson; they are locked together in conflict for sales and for the security of their jobs. The play takes place over an evening and the following morning, in a Chinese restaurant near their offices, and the following day in the office. Central to the plot of the play are sales leads: the current leads are weak and sales are suffering, but the new leads will only be given out to proven sellers. The rest of the sales force will be dismissed. Bigsby (2000, p. 219) sees this set-up as “a neat paradigm of a competitive capitalist society”. As only the successful are prioritised by the keeping of their jobs and the access to the new leads, then success is seen to lead to success: the rest must fall by the wayside. So pressure is applied to succeed; this leads to sharp practice and to criminality in order to secure that competitive edge. In the play this is illustrated by the theft of the leads, and the conversations the salesmen have where the leads’ potential  is discussed. Failing salesman Shelley Levene pleads, with mounting hysteria, about his need to sell; he is desperate for access to the new leads, which Williamson is unwilling to give. Salesmen Aaronow and Moss discuss the potential theft of the leads; Moss works to sell the concept of stealing them to Aaronow. Third is a conversation between two men who, we come to learn, are Roma and a  client, James Lingk. Roma works to seduce  Lingk into making a buy by appealing to both their manufactured friendship and  to Lingk’ss masculinity. Each of these conversations is marked by power relationships; these are all unequal exchanges.  The second act focuses on the aftermath of the theft. Levene is ecstatic because of  a much-needed commission sale overnight; Roma likewise has sold to Lingk, but  becomes distressed when Williamson undoes his work; Aaronow and Moss react with confusion and frustration respectively when accused of the crime and when called in for police questioning. It is revealed that we have been misdirected: Levene is the one who’s been manipulated by Moss into taking and selling the leads to a competitor. Furthermore, Levene has been outwitted and outmanoeuvred again, this time by the people he made the sale to overnight, as they are revealed to be cranks with no money. The second act relationships mirror those of the first act; the same characters are involved in the exchanges, but their positions are altered by shifts in power. Levene glories at fist in his power over Williamson, Moss has his crime unpicked, Roma finds the limits of his seductive sales technique. Mamet’s salesmen are desperate men, forever living on their wits – on their ability to use and to manipulate language to own ends. Bigsby (2000, p. 221) notes that each relationship they have or enter in is a negotiation: human interaction becomes capitalist in this context. A competitive edge is always sought. Furthermore, the possibility of duplicity or betrayal is always possible, not least because these characters are all trying to do that to others. Their whole society is predicated on social engineering and on corruption of language towards venal ends; to that extent, they and their society are corrupt also. Bigsby (2000, p. 222) sees that if Mamet’s characters “pervert language, distort values and divert profound psychological needs into temporary social objectives, this is no more than do those who direct national policy or construct the fantasies of commercial and political life”. The link between the specifics of the drama on stage and its correlation to the national and cultural dynamic of Reagan’s America are clearly drawn here. Nightingale (in Bigsby, 2004, p. 102) sees Glengarry Glen Ross as “a play virtually unequalled in the quantitative and qualitative evidence it provides for moral dismay and grim social reflection”. For Nightingale (in Bigsby, 2004, p. 96), the play is not solely an expose and a rebuttal of business ethics but also of “an America that, as Mamet has said, is ‘a very violent society full of a lot of hate: you can’t put a band-aid on a suppurating wound’”. This is drama as a political critique: an examination of the ethics of a worldview (that of Reaganism) through the filter of a contemporary case study intended to be seen as emblematic of a greater, and similarly problematic, whole. This essay has sought to outline and examine the ways in which American theatre in the twentieth century has been applied to wider political conversations. Miller’s The Crucible takes a seventeenth century cause celebre and a foundational story of pre-Constitution America and draws parallels between Puritan religious hysteria and anti-Communist searches as spearheaded by the Senate Committee on Un-American Activities under Joseph McCarthy. This is drama as allegory, and as such, not only were contemporary audiences able to make that link for themselves – the play has demonstrated over time that its messages have resonance for other times and geographies, even though that link to the 1950s remains dominant. David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross takes another approach: that of didactic example. Reagan’s 1980s are held to account through a case study of capitalism in action. Mamet’s salesmen are in turns aggressive, hectoring, pleading, desperate, seductive, criminal , manipulative, and self-serving. The society in which they operate, and the political system that not merely sustains but which actively supports this; is thus critiqued. Murphy (2006, pp 411-29) sketches the ways in which American theatre developed through the twentieth century. From being almost wholly mass entertainment and spectacle-based with little original writing to a theatre that was able to, as Murphy (2006, p. 429) puts it, “confront audiences with the issues of the day”, the century has seen the American stage become a mechanism by which US playwrights might hold the country’s politics to account.

Bibliography

Bigsby, C. W. E. (2000)Modern American Drama, 1945-2000. 2nd edn. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Cooper, J. (2013)History & Policy. Available at: https://www.historyandpolicy.org/opinion-articles/articles/reagan-vs.-thatcher-unpicking-the-special-relationship (Accessed: 7 October 2015). Kopkind, A. (2004)The Age of Reaganism. Available at: https://www.thenation.com/article/age-reaganism/ (Accessed: 7 October 2015). Mamet, D. (2004)Glengarry Glen Ross. London: Methuen Drama. Miller, A. (2000)The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts (Penguin Modern Classics). London: Penguin Classics. Murphy, B. (2006)The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (Cambridge Companions to Culture). Edited by Christopher Bigsby. 1st edn. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Nightingale, J. (2004)Cambridge Companion to David Mamet (Cambridge Companions to Literature Series). Edited by Christopher Bigsby. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pfister, J. (2005)The Crucible. Available at: https://www.ibiblio.org/miller/crucibleteachnotes.html (Accessed: 6 October 2015). Saddik, A. J. (2007)Contemporary American Drama (Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature). Edited by Martin Halliwell and Andy Mousley. 1st edn. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. The Crucible – The Old Vic(no date) Available at: https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2014/the-crucible/ (Accessed: 7 October 2015). Welland, D. S. R. and Well, D. (1979)Miller: A Study Of His Plays. London: Eyre Methuen.

Criticle Lense, the Crucible and the Lottery

The quote, “In literature as in life, human beings may find themselves in conflict when they live in a society that outwardly seems civilized and yet practices prejudice and injustice within,” means that even when a civilization is viewed as good or peaceful, many people in the society are treated unfairly. This theme is often expressed in works of literature. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery” both show how the quote is true. The Crucible supports the lens through setting, characterization, and conflict. The play has to do with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. During this time in American history, there were nineteen people who hanged for the crime of witchcraft. The play is set in a very protestant community. In the village, people are expected to behave properly and civilly. They have strict rules about many things, such as dancing and woman wearing their hair up when outside. Arthur Miller says most of his characters “… play a similar – and in some cases exactly the same-role in history”. Abigail Williams, Reverend Parris’ orphaned niece, has an affair with John Proctor, a respected farmer, prior to the beginning of the play. After drinking blood to kill Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, Abigail claims that Tituba, the servant, had forced her to do it. Although Abigail is described as a character who has “an endless capacity for dissembling,” it is her accusations that begin the witch trials. Abigail herself uses the trials to cover her own guilt and shame of the affair. The internal conflict of John Proctor is also important. He realizes that he will have to admit his affair with Abigail if he wants to save his wife. In their society, an affair was a large crime. Even those on trial were not treated fairly. If they did not confess, they were to die. However if they did confess, they would be known as witches. This is shown when John Proctor says “Leave me my name”, because he feels that he cannot have the town seeing him as a bad person, so he cannot sign his name to lies. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson also supports the quote using setting, irony and tone. The story is set in a small town where people know each other well. In the annual lottery, a person is randomly chosen to be killed. The setting is described as being a “full summer day” where “flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. ” People are around the town square talking casually about taxes and such. This includes Mrs. Hutchinson, a mother and wife, who enters talking to Mrs. Delacroix about how she had forgotten what day it was. When she realized the lottery was that day, she “came a-running” , showing how she was glad to be at the event. She shows this again when she tells her husband, Bill to, “get up there”. The tone is cheerful and excited. When Mrs. Hutchinson is the one to die, she ironically starts saying how it was unfair. Both works take place in seemingly good villages. The protestants are known for trying to be good while small villages are known for being close and staying together. Both towns are full of tradition, yet both towns went through injustices. Both The Crucible and “The Lottery” show how even nice towns have injustices.