The Crucible: History of Writing and Characters

August 26, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller as an allegory. He wrote the Crucible at a time during a modern day witch-hunt. The witch-hunt was the hunt for communists in the USA. Many of Millers friends were being persecuted and being attacked for being communists, which they were not. In 1956 Miller himself was accused of being a Communist and was brought before the House of Un-American Activities Committee. Here he was found guilty in communist beliefs. Later in 1957 this decision was over ruled.

Miller then went on to marry Marilyn Monroe but divorced in 1961.

The Crucible is told from a third person point of view. The characters don’t address the audience directly but do obviously address each other directly. In the Crucible Miller portrays the good, the bad and the evil of Salem, a small village in Massachusetts. He shows that even the most religious people can make huge, costly mistakes. Miller shows this through the actions and words of the characters.

The Crucible is set during a series of mad witch-hunts in Salem in the late 17th century. It is about a town, after accusations from a small minority of girls, begins to search madly for witches that do not exist.

Many people were hanged on the charges of witchcraft. Miller shows the absurdity of the incident with a theme of truth and righteousness. The theme is conveyed through the struggles of Miller’s main character, John Proctor. The similarities between the witch-hunt in Salem and the hunt for communists are very alike. Miller makes the hunt for witches in Salem sound mad. He also said this about the hunt for Communists, especially when he was convicted. Miller structures the Crucible is set into four acts and tells almost all the story straight to the viewer or reader.

This is minus the John Proctor affair which took place off stage. The story begins in act one, where the situation is told. The audience is told that a group of girls has been practicing witchcraft in the woods with Tituba. The initial incident is the actual accusation of the women of witchcraft by the several girls which were in the forest. This seems to get the story in motion and leads to the town’s people getting into a mad frenzy. The main action of the story is the witch-hunt itself. The audience learns in later acts that several women are being tried and hanged for witchcraft.

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