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Miller's Depiction of Salem Witch Trials Essay

  • Submitted by: iullmann
  • on October 2, 2013
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,821 words

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Below is an essay on "Miller's Depiction of Salem Witch Trials" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The Salem Witch Trials + Arthur Miller= A Good Movie
Arthur Miller's The Crucible delivers a powerful message to its modern American viewers about one of the more controversial chapters of our country's history. As a dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials, the movie brought the historical context of the time period to the big screen. The trials, which began in 1692 and resulted in the deaths of nineteen people, demonstrated the dangers of allowing the blurring together of church and state so closely that a legal trial was used to determine the fate of those who "were working with the devil" (Divine, Breen, Fredrickson, Williams, Gross, Brands, 83). The story is set in seventeenth century Massachusetts, where Puritanism had become the social norm. One of the key themes is that under time of stress and adversity, neighbors, friends, and even family members have a tendency to turn on each other when they allow fear to govern their actions. While Arthur Miller's The Crucible succeeds in bringing the viewer into the time period of the Salem Witch Trials by maintaining an accurate timeline of events, there are significant inaccuracies in the character details which were likely changed for the purposes of creating a compelling storyline in the motion picture.  
The movie begins with several young women, who appear to be faking spiritual ailments, which could not be explained medically. The town began to think that they were demonically possessed. When the women had the entire town convinced, they used that to their advantage. They claimed that they saw other people working with the devil, which was enough to bring the issue all the way to trial. The movie's central focus is on seventeen- year- old Abigail Williams' relationship with a farmer called John Proctor. Although Proctor is a married man, he and Williams had an affair. This is what prompts Williams to confess that she was attacked by Proctor's wife's spirit, who was working for the devil. Williams'...

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