The word crucible suggests not only the setting of witch hysteria, but the fundamental theme of the play as well, for a crucible also refers to a severe test or trial. On one level, it refers to those tests to which the magistrates subjected accused witches. The inability of the accused to recite them all correctly was often regarded as proof that they were witches. Another meaning of the crucible pertinent to the play is that the community itself is a crucible in which the citizens have been heated to red-hot panic and hysteria.
How will they withstand this heated and unhealthy atmosphere? Will they confess like cowards and give the judges names of their friends and neighbors to save their own skins? Will they encourage this witch-hunt by cooperating in whatever way they can?
Or will they become finer people in this fiery crucible? How is character revealed in the face of the intense heat of the crucible? As a social playwright, Miller is not interested just in the character of the individual; he is concerned with the character of the society as a whole and particularly of its ruling class. The crucible of has been brought to the white heat of destructiveness for a reason that thunders with irony in this churchdominated community. A group that pretends to have been founded on a religion of compassion has lost all love, both individually and collectively, in an orgy of greed, ambition, and lust.
Without that foundation, everything is turned upside down and inside out. In the chaos that ensues, irrationality and fear begin to reign. In a world turned chaotic and perverse, justice and faith are sacrificed.
As wise people began to observe after it was all over, the Devil actually had been in Massachusetts—not in the accused but in the accusers. The playwright develops his theme through a tightly constructed, traditional, realistic plot and through complex, multidimensional characters who, though subject to human weakness, have the capacity to evoke our sympathy and to achieve greatness.
While John Proctor, in not being a noble leader or a person with great power in Salem, fails to fit the classic form of the tragic hero in many ways, he does fit the pattern that Arthur Miller consciously developed: a modern tragic hero in the form of a common man.
In the horror of the Salem hysteria, Proctor achieves some sense of status and courage in the name of goodness and in a cause that is just. In the crucial scene outside the courtroom, when he decides that he will openly admit to all his neighbors that he has committed the crime of lechery, that he has lied, that he has refused to accept responsibility, that he has in fact been guilty of the most serious betrayal of trust, his motive, at least, is good: he will risk his own damnation before the community in order to stop the terrible spate of hangings and imprisonment.
Even though he knows that they probably will not believe him, he is obligated to do it anyway. Later he decides to confess, arguing that he is not a good man nor martyr material, and that it is more important that he see that his children are provided for. But when he is pressed to name others in league with the Devil, he cannot do it. In the final analysis, when Danforth presses him for names of others, he declares that he will not be used.
Following this exchange, the scene gets to the heart of the matter. I cannot have another life! The story is based on the Salem witch trials of the s. So, what is required of students when writing an essay on the Crucible? First, consider choosing an appropriate topic to help you with the essay. The Crucible is full of different themes and topics to choose from. Luckily, we have assembled a list comprising of The Crucible essay ideas, topics, and theme proposal examples below.
So feel free to choose as many ideas as is required for your assignment. Besides, they are all free! Secondly, consider using an essay structure when writing your assignment. Doing this will help you save a lot of time.
How many electrons in an atom could have these sets of quantum numbers? A debit balance in the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Which of the following is a valid probability distribution? Their sum is Find the numbers The entirety of a packet at one layer becoming the payload section at another layer is known as? Which of the following is not an advantage of issuing bonds instead of common stock? Stockholders of a company may be reluctant to finance expansion through issuing more equity because Which of these is a difference between a DNA and an RNA molecule?
Which of the following statements about Okazaki fragments in E. A group of young girls accuse local town members of witchcraft, so several husbands try to convince the trial judges that the girls are lying. One husband, John Proctor, admits to committing adultery with one of the young accusers to save his wife. Write a research paper about the real Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials when 19 men and women and two dogs were hanged for supposed involvement in witchcraft.
Discuss the negative elements associated with witchcraft during that time, and why Salem residents were eager to prosecute the so-called demonic activists, suggests Randall Bass, English professor at Georgetown University. Research and explain why witchcraft hysteria divided the town and how politicians and religious leaders used the trials for their own ends, according the Department of Theatre and Dance at Florida Atlantic University.
Discuss the role Puritanism and theocracy played in the lives of New England residents during the 17th century. Sin of any kind, including witchcraft, was thought to be a destructive force in the lives of Puritans, so patrons and religious leaders took a strong stance against it.
Research how intolerance led to poor decisions and a lack of empathy. New England leaders had little respect for individuality and wanted everyone to conform to their Puritan ideals. Discuss how sexual repression likely led to the witchcraft accusations, according to some, including English professor Pat Swenson at California State University in Northridge.
Choose a thesis for your research paper that discusses how McCarthyism and the fear of communism influenced Miller's play. The backstory to "The Crucible" centers on American fears during the s, including communism and nuclear war. Tensions between the United States and Russia increased, so many Americans, fearing annihilation, blindly supported the criminal charges made against innocent people by Sen.
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