The Crucible

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The Crucible

The Crucible

*Literary Criticism* The Crucible paints a picture of a village that is being sucked into fear. The entire village has been sucked into this fear of witchcraft. Mostly everybody in the village believes the devil is among the souls of specific villagers. On the other hand, there are those non-believers that have not been sucked into this thought. A witchcraft specialist, Hale, was called to the village to find the devil and stop his actions. Bonnet believes that The Crucible is a play that constantly shifts between two similar points: the individuals of the village are purged separately so that the entire community will be preserved. The reader must question if the play is about an individual’s discovery of him/herself or about a whole community getting out of control(Bonnet, 1). If a reader takes out the first act, which basically resembles an overture, the three remaining acts take place either physically or symbolically in the courtroom. John Proctor, in Act 2, goes home to his wife and children. His home is equated to be like a courtroom. Many victims throughout the production made confessions. The entire situation with the court is pushed further when Miller makes Elizabeth describe her husband before the court itself of his own conscience, she says; ‘The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you’, that is the center piece of the drama. Therefore, John Proctor’s case in the village is a personal and social drama. Proctor’s arraignment at his house and in his conscience shows how close private’s lives are connected to the rest of society(Bonnet, 2).

*Mass Hysteria* -The Palmer Raids- The people of America have been very scared of other groups of people that have the possibility to “destroy” a government. At the beginning of the 20th century, many changes occurred in the lives of the American people. The first couple of decades had a fear growing constantly, and discrimination broke out against those who exposed radical political ways. One of the most popular groups for being aggressively persecuted were the anarchists. Many Americans thought that the anarchists’ goal was to destroy governments and raise chaos. It did not take long for American people to form hatred towards these anarchists. There were men like A. Mitchell Palmer and J. Edgar Hoover who had an enormous amount of power in the government. The government soon began to deport and jail “radicals” on dumb charges. These actions were known as the Palmer Raids. The Palmer Raids occurred all the way from November of 1919 to the month of January 1920. At the end of the raids, thousands of people had been arrested along with hundreds deported(Civil Liberties and National Security Time Line, 1).

*Arthur Miller*• Born October 17, 1915 in Manhattan, New York • Was raised in an upper-middle class home• Pulitzer Prize winner • Wrote many things including The Crucible in 1953• He wrote The Crucible in the period called The Red Scare • Many people lost their jobs in this time period (especially those in the arts and entertainment) • The Crucible was made into a movie• Miller refused the McCarthy hearings

*John Proctor* John Proctor is a hard working man. He is well-known in the community. His role in this play is a well-respected farmer. He has a wife and a few kids. in the play he says,"I have three children-how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?".This quote exemplifies Proctor very well. He cares about others, and he especially cares about himelf and his family. He does not want his name to be remembered in a bad way. (Miller, 1272)

*Literary Elements* 1. A metaphor is a figure of a speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of such specific words of comparison as like, as, than, or resembles. Abigail says, " Uncle, the rumor of witchcraft is all about...". This is a metaphor connecting this story to the times of The Red Scare. This village was scared of witchcraft just as the Americans were scared of anarchists(Miller, 1219). 2. Symbolism is saying something or using a physical object that represents itself, but it also reveals a more truthful version of reality. Elizabeth says, " Why, thank you, it is a fair poppet." Miller uses symbolism in the play with the poppet. The poppet is similar to a voodoo doll, but the poppet in the play represents the devil's work(Miller, 1238).3. Dramatic irony is a type of irony that occurs when a character in the play thinks one thing is true, but the audience or reader knows better. Betty says in Act 1, "You drank blood, Abby! You didn't tell him that!" This is dramatic irony because Betty was supposedly unconscious when Parris and Abigail were talking. The audience knows Betty was awake, but Abigail was not aware of this(Miller,1223).

"...leave me my name!"

"by Blake Oden"


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