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The Crucible Essay

  • Submitted by: cristinamarino1
  • on October 10, 2010
  • Category: English
  • Length: 2,010 words

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Below is an essay on "The Crucible" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

We are tempted to think that the soul purpose of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was to create an outlet that exposed the mass hysteria of the McCarthy era , however to say this you would be ignoring the central themes that have allowed this play to reach universal audiences. Among themes such as the abuse of power, conflict with authority and mass hysteria The Crucible deals with the importance of identity and the individual conscience. These two themes are closely linked because until you complete your journey in finding yourself you are unable to have an individual conscience. Miller uses one of the central characters in the story, John Proctor, to explore the journey of individual conscience.   This theme combined with a unique structure and language allows him to creature a play that addresses the social and political concerns which are essential to every human existence.  
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theater on 22 of January, 1953. Though the play is based on the events of the Salem witch trials of 1692, Miller took artistic liberties when developing his story line that allowed him to delve into the political and moral issues that had suddenly become the dominating fixation in America. The Crucible depicted the similarities between the Salem witch trials and a metaphorical witch hunt led by Senator Joseph McCarthy against communist and their supporters. Arthur Miller was inspired by the hysteria that surrounded the Salem witch trials which he saw to be parallel with McCarthyism.   Miller paired McCarthy’s quest to expose communists in America with the 1692 witch trials to shed light on the similarities of the hostile manner in which people where questioned, the blatant disregard of legal rights, guilt by association and the blacklisting of those involved in both events.
The McCarthy era was a time in American history where people had become paralyzed by the paranoid fear that was instilled in them by the Red...

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