The Crucible: Feminism

1939 Words8 Pages
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953 is a play based on the witchcraft trails in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 which foreshadows and has significant connotations to the McCarthyism era. Since 1938, Joseph McCarthy was the chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) who were an anti-communist organisation. The HUAC echoed the trials in The Crucible, which were aimed to identify people who were involved in witchcraft, by investigating those who were believed to be communist sympathisers and asked to give names of pro-communist protesters. Post publication of the play, Miller found himself being questioned and asked to give names but refused which led him to have his passport taken away from him. In section of the play that we are given, talk of the Devil and acts of witchcraft are heavily implied by Hale. We are shown the true characteristics of Abigail who is, as we find out, the reason for the amount of trials that follow. In this essay the language, the characters and the social issues touched on within this extract will be analysed whilst considering the entirety of the play. The language throughout the play and in this extract differs to contemporary english language as it is modern to their time. An example of this would be the use of the word ‘Aye’ meaning yes. Some may argue that this would confuse a contemporary reader, therefore subjecting the play to avid readers of this genre. However Miller inserts the word into context making it easier to comprehend by a diverse audience: “Aye, we’ll discuss it”. In this extract there are many turns between characters and we can see that Hale, being the character with the most knowledge on witchcraft, has the most turns. The use of a rhetorical question by Hale, “What victory would the Devil have to win a soul already bad?” , Hale does not hesitate to question the knowledge of other
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