Winter Will Be Here Soon -- Study hard as finals approach...


 
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The Crucible

 

The witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in the early 
sixteen hundreds was a time of uneasiness and suspicion. 
Anyone could easily turn in his or her neighbor on the 
ground of witchcraft. Someone could merely say their 
neighbor's spirit had attacked them during the night, which 
no man can prove. Nevertheless, as a God-fearing community, 
they could not think of denying the evidence, because to 
deny the existence of Evil is to deny the existence of 
Goodness, which is God. 
 
 The most important scene in the play was act two, scene 
three, where John Proctor is able to talk with his wife, 
Elizabeth, one last time. He decides that he will "confess" 
to the crime of witchcraft, thereby avoiding being hung. 
However, to accept what he said, the judge also requires him 
to sign a written confession which states that he confessed 
to the crime of witchcraft. Judge Danforth would post it on 
the church door, to use Proctor as an example to get other 
people to confess. That upset Proctor greatly, because 
people would look down on him with disdain, and it would 
blacken forever his name. 

 What was most important to him was to make a stand 
against the insanity of the town, for himself and for God, 
and using that as a last resort to make people aware of what 
was happening. This last stand for righteousness is an 
example of proctor's great character and rationale.

 Arthur Miller wrote his play, The Crucible, a story about 
the Salem witch trials, and the panic resulting from it, as 
an allegory to show people the insanity of the McCarthy 
hearings. He wrote it as an allegory so that, if tried by 
McCarthy, he could say, "it's just a play about the witch 
trials in Salem. How do you get this communist idea from 
it?" The story illustrates how people react to mass 
hysteria, created by a person or group of people desiring 
fame, as people did during the McCarthy hearings.
 
 Arthur Miller, acting as a great visionary, warned 
us that if we did not become aware of history repeating 
itself, our society would be in danger. At the same time, 
he had to do this in a matter that would not get him 
arrested, hence the witch-trial mechanization.

 




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