The Crucible

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The Crucible

Hailey Lairscey pd. 4

Mass HysteriaMcCarthyism Initiated by an American Senator, Joseph McCarthy, probes were sent to discharge any believed communist in any government rank. President Truman only added on the suspicion of communist government officials by ordering a mandatory background check. When a high-ranked and well-trusted State Department official was convicted of spying and holding useful information, the fear of communism, known as The Red Scare, was intensified ( Most of the European countries were under communism influence, and china had unfortunately become communist along with 1/3 of the world’s population dwelling there. Atomic bomb threats were increasing putting America in a bottomless pit of stress ( McCarthy interrogated, and used frivolous evidence against the United States Army in hopes to find a possible source of communism in the American government. When McCarthy was believed to have lost decency and thought of as unscrupulous in his attack on the army, his colleagues censured him for dishonoring the senate ( He then lost his life to poor health and alcoholism, but his reign of accusing possible communists was carried out through the “House Committee on Un-American Activities” ( HUAC targeted international entertainment centers—writers, actors, and artists. With television industries bombarded with false accusations, artists were blacklisted, and their reputations were ruined temporarily. The People began to realize the truth, and turned McCarthyism into an international mockery (

Literary Criticism Arthur Miller, the author of the play, The Crucible, illustrated multiple figurative thematic meanings in his writing. From irony to metaphors, he covered the positive and negative connotations of the theme, “the weight of truth” (Marino, 1). Reverend Parris uses the possibility of the ministry’s reputation being “blackened” to his advantage to find out what has caused the rumors of witchcraft in a town in Salem. The strength of honesty has obviously been abandoned when most women, bewitched or innocent, were accused by the court. Miller makes these deep connections between law and religion to break the very foundation in which the village has been built upon religiously (Marino, 1). However, the “weight of truth” isn’t always accepted as easily as it is oppressed against the witchery accused. A main character by the name of Abigail Williams has been accurately accused, but she has found a flaw in their village system to avoid the consequences of her actions. The weight of truth from her uncle, Parris, has not penetrated deep enough to make her feel any type of remorse for lying, stealing, and cheating the system (Marino, 1).On the other hand, Reverend Hale, a highly educated man from Harvard, sees the truth in the main accusations between John and Elizabeth Procter, Abigail Williams, and the rest of the girls convicted. Hale discerns that perhaps this “weight of truth”, in small print, is the weight of authority instead (Marino, 1). Trustworthiness and honesty has been abandoned in the court and the town because of the suppression from Mr. Danforth, the Salem judge. His authority and superiority has overcome any false or true conviction, and he has the final decision in the court. The use of the word “weight” has many connotations in The Crucible (Marino, 1). Arthur Miller captures all the possible thematic meanings from “weight” and used them to illustrate that religion and law are both different, but also in fact the same (Marino, 1).

Author ResearchArthur Miller-born to Jewish family, in Harlem, New York in 1915-worked in parents’ coat factory until out of high school he worked multiple jobs to raise money to go to college.-got accepted into University of Michigan-earned his bachelor’s degree-moved eastward to continue writing plays and creating stages-then wrote “The Crucible”-accused of communism and was blacklisted by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee)-married to Marilyn Monroe-married three times before he passed in 2005 at 89

Character AnalysisReverend Hale♦expert on demonic arts♦Harvard graduate♦comes to Salem after hearing the rumors of witchcraft♦sees the wrongness of the court sessions and hearings (disagrees with Judge Danforth after discovering the truth)♦"...The Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!"

Literary Elements♦dynamic character-- someone who undergoes an important, internal change because of the action in the plotMary Warren began to show signs of her own independence while the accusations in the court began to spread to more people of suspicion. She couldn’t confirm the reality of her and the other girls’ actions in the woods so instead she claimed it all to be pretense. She lied to the court while betraying John Proctor’s order.♦irony--the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effectIn "The Crucible," Miller uses the device of irony to illustrate the differences and the heavy contrasts among all the characters.♦internal conflict--psychological struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character, the resolution of which creates the plot's suspenseJohn Proctor has faced multiple conflicts in and out of himself. He confronts the most difficult one soon after he is falsely accused. John must decide to confess to the church, and let his name be known in all the town that he is a liar, or choose to keep his name. He admits that it is the only thing he has left when he has nothing else to lose.

"The Crucible"


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