Arthur Miller ostensibly wrote his classic drama The Crucible about the Salem witch trials ofbut he really wroteabout Sen.
Table of Contents Context Early in the yearin the small Massachusetts village of Salem, a collection of girls fell ill, falling victim to hallucinations and seizures.
In extremely religious Puritan New England, frightening or surprising occurrences were often attributed to the devil or his cohorts. The unfathomable sickness spurred fears of witchcraft, and it was not long before the girls, and then many other residents of Salem, began to accuse other villagers of consorting with devils and casting spells.
Old grudges and jealousies spilled out into the open, fueling the atmosphere of hysteria. The Massachusetts government and judicial system, heavily influenced by religion, rolled into action.
Within a few weeks, dozens of people were in jail on charges of witchcraft. By the time the fever had run its course, in late Augustnineteen people and two dogs had been convicted and hanged for witchcraft. His career as a playwright began while he was a student at the University of Michigan.
Several of his early works won prizes, and during his senior year, the Federal Theatre Project in Detroit performed one of his works. He produced his first great success, All My Sons, in Two years later, inMiller wrote Death of a Salesman, which won the Pulitzer Prize and transformed Miller into a national sensation.
Many critics described Death of a Salesman as the first great American tragedy, and Miller gained an associated eminence as a man who understood the deep essence of the United States.
Drawing on research on the witch trials he had conducted while an undergraduate, Miller composed The Crucible in the early s.
Miller wrote the play during the brief ascendancy of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a demagogue whose vitriolic anti-Communism proved the spark needed to propel the United States into a dramatic and fractious anti-Communist fervor during these first tense years of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
Led by McCarthy, special congressional committees conducted highly controversial investigations intended to root out Communist sympathizers in the United States.
As with the alleged witches of Salem, suspected Communists were encouraged to confess and to identify other Red sympathizers as means of escaping punishment. The policy resulted in a whirlwind of accusations.
Some cooperated; others, like Miller, refused to give in to questioning. Those who were revealed, falsely or legitimately, as Communists, and those who refused to incriminate their friends, saw their careers suffer, as they were blacklisted from potential jobs for many years afterward.
At the time of its first performance, in January ofcritics and cast alike perceived The Crucible as a direct attack on McCarthyism the policy of sniffing out Communists.
Still, there are difficulties with interpreting The Crucible as a strict allegorical treatment of s McCarthyism.
For one thing, there were, as far as one can tell, no actual witches or devil-worshipers in Salem. However, there were certainly Communists in s America, and many of those who were lionized as victims of McCarthyism at the time, such as the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss a former State Department officialwere later found to have been in the pay of the Soviet Union.
If Miller took unknowing liberties with the facts of his own era, he also played fast and loose with the historical record. Furthermore, his central plot device—the affair between Abigail Williams and John Proctor—has no grounding in fact Proctor was over sixty at the time of the trials, while Abigail was only eleven.
In an odd way, then, The Crucible is best read outside its historical context—not as a perfect allegory for anti-Communism, or as a faithful account of the Salem trials, but as a powerful and timeless depiction of how intolerance and hysteria can intersect and tear a community apart.
In John Proctor, Miller gives the reader a marvelous tragic hero for any time—a flawed figure who finds his moral center just as everything is falling to pieces around him.The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in , is based on the true story of the Salem Witch Trials of Miller wrote the play to parallel the situations in the mid-twentieth century of Alger Hiss, Owen Latimore, Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, and Senator McCarthy, if only suggestively.
In the play, The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, Americans face pressure to conform in the town of Salem, Massachusetts in The witch trials bring about the hidden truths about the citizens of Salem, and in fact are not really about witchcraft.
Throughout the s and s America was overwhelmed with concerns about the threat of communism growing in Eastern Europe and China. Capitalizing on those concerns, a young Senator named Joseph.
The Truth of Reverend Hale during The Salem Witch Trials in "the Crucible,” by Arthur Miller Words | 3 Pages The Salem witch trials were a time period in which there was mass chaos and very little reason. - The Crucible: Characters Chetan Patel The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in , is based on the true story of the Salem Witch Trials of Miller wrote the play to parallel the situations in the mid-twentieth century of Alger Hiss, Owen Latimore, Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, and Senator McCarthy, if only.
Dramatizing History in Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Researching the Salem Witch Trials - Inference and Evidence Media "Witchcraft Victims on the Way to the Gallows," by F.C.
Yoyan, appeared in the Boston Herald, May 14,