Monday, October 14, 2019

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay Example for Free

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay he Crucible emerged from a true story which makes the play more convincing. It was based on the Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trial in 1629. At the time people were extremely religious and believed in witchcraft and devilry. It was strictly forbidden for people to dance, sing, and laugh and if they were discovered doing these activities, they were accused of witchcraft and many were to die of this. Miller decided to write a play which would heighten Americas awareness of the impending of the communist in the 1950s. It is important for the audience to understand the historical background, and understand what living in Salem, Massachusetts was like in the 17th Century. The people of Salem were Puritans- descendents of the Pilgrim Father, who arrived in America from England in 1960 because they wanted a stricter way of life with regard to their religion. Their lives consisted of working, eating, sleeping and praying. Any kind of enjoyment was prohibited. This meant that singing and dancing was forbidden and seen as an interaction with the devil. People of Salem believed in witchcraft, and in 1692, many people were accused and hanged because of this. People incriminated each other, both neighbours and friends. This shows that although on the surface, society appears united, cracks were beginning to emerge. In the 1950s there was a modern day witch hunt in America. Instead of hunting witches Free thinkers, That is people who had individual thoughts were accused of disloyalty and communist sympathies, which often resulted in loss of their jobs. In order to protect themselves, just as in The Crucible, they blamed others. The Crucible was inspired by Millers experiences of the 1950s. It was Senator Joseph McCarthy who created the hunt for communists. The similarities between the Crucible and McCarthys accusations of the 1950s were denounced. Without proof or evidence the inciting of fear and suspicion would lead in the 1950s to the eventual break up of families and friendship as people accused each other of disloyal acts against America. This was to lead to America becoming permeated by paranoia and scepticism. Before the audience even meets Abigail, they find out that she is a trouble maker with an endless capacity for dissembling. In the opening act between Parris and Abigail, tension rises as Parris persistently questions her about the night they were dancing in the woods, what did you do with her in the forest? But Abigail denies any accusations and always defends herself, But we never conjured spirits. However Parris does not stop questioning her and feelings begin to heighten when he mentions witchcraft, trafficked with spirits in the forest. Abigail vehemently assents herself by saying, we never conjured spirits. At this stage she is trying to defuse the situation but the audience are already experiencing a steady rise in tension.

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