Most Important Themes in The Crucible
As stated in The Crucible ‘When diabolism rises, however, actions are the least important manifests of the true nature of a man’ (The Crucible, p39.)Justice is a concept many a familiar with, but do not the actual meaning. It is from the concept that fairness should always be the answer in that there is punishment of wrongs and protection of rights, no matter the repercussions. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible’ and George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck’ positions the audience to view the actions and events portrayed in the texts as unjust.
The two texts explore the acts of injustice, credibility and a person’s ability to protect the people and things they care about. Both texts illustrate the use of power and politics throughout to create an understanding of concepts. The on-air clash between Edward Murrow’s and Senator McCarthy demonstrates the difference between justice and baseless accusations. In an attempt to reveal McCarthy’s prejudice and unwarranted attacks on innocent people, Ed with the help of Fred Friendly tries to use a televised show to outwit and expose Senator McCarthy.
Murrow’s reveals to all of his viewers ‘We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason’ (GNGL). Murrow’s does not back down from the fear of being prosecuted nor the fear of losing his livelihood. The post-war time in which Good Night and Good Luck is set adds to theme of tensions and post-war communists fears. Good Night and Good Luck demonstrates the power play that was present during the McCarthyism era. Senator McCarthy uses his power and position for his own personal gain. Joseph McCarthy made sure that during the Red Scare, there was precautions put in place to ensure that any and all communists or communists-sympathisers were placed in custody and questioned.
This concept of prosecution without evidence or with illegally obtained evidence leads many characters in both texts to be seen as powerful and unjust. George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are both texts that outline the concepts of individualism and heroism. Both texts detail accusations made against individuals in the communities with no evidence provided. The Crucible, published in 1953 gives the audience an insight into the mass hysteria surrounding the witch trials in Salem, Virginia. The hysteria is most clearly seen in the villager’s quick acceptance of the girl’s fictional claims of witchcraft in Act III, page 100-102. It is shown that Abigail Williams and the other girls surrounding and supporting her lies, accuse Mary Warren of witchcraft to prevent her from testifying against them. In The Crucible, being accused leads to jail or death. Good Night and Good Luck takes a more contemporary approach to the concept of hysteria. George Clooney’s use of original footage of Senator McCarthy allows the audience to see the truth behind the person. The use of film also allows Clooney to film the entirety of the movie in black and white in order to create a sense of time. McCarthy despite large amounts of criticism from the public, uses his own methods of prejudice and irrationality to accuse and ruin the lives of Americans, while injecting fear and paranoia in to the lives of citizens. During Good Night and Good Luck, Joseph McCarthy issues a statement responding to Ed Murrow’s ‘repeated attacks’. McCarthy does not take responsibility for Ed’s comments, but rather goes after his past and through his privacy to tell the country that he is a communist. McCarthy issues many attacks throughout the statement tell Americans ‘he ought not to be brought into the homes of Americans by the Columbia Broadcasting System’ (GNGL). Senator McCarthy uses his secrecy, wire-tapping and known corruption to take down those who try to take him down. Good Night and Good Luck and The Crucible use examples of good versus evil to portray the struggle that is present in both texts. The Crucible and Good Night and Good Luck use aest
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