« The Crucible », Arthur Miller

The crucible is a play written in 1953 by Arthur Miller. This play would perfectly fit in the notion « The writer in his time » that we are studying in literature because it was written during Mc carthysm . McCarthysm is a periode in the USA in the 1950s, also known as the Red Scare (it should ring a bell people we talked about in class with « The Great Gatsby »), characterised by a great fear of communists. During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans, including Arthur Miller himself were accused of being communists and became the subject of aggressive investigation. Suspected people were blacklisted and often arrested. A lot them lost their jobs and actually pretty much everything as their family or friends wouldn’t talk to them scared of being accused to.
The Crucible’s story sets in the 17th century Salem in a period of which hunts. The play used the Salem witch trials as a metaphor for McCarthysm. To understand that a little summary is I think needed. A few girls led by a reverend niece (Abigail) have been dancing in the Forest but when the reverend catches them a rumour of witchcraft spreads. To protect herself Abigail accuses Tituba to be a witch. For her trial another reverend this time a specialist of occult phenomena is sent. Terrified by the idea of being hanged Tituba turns to the same solution Abigail used, she accuses other women.
Although she contrary to Abigail doesn’t really come to the idea on her own. That’s at least the conclusion you come to with a little analysis of her trial. Indeed two main parts can be reveled. The first one could be Tituba’s questionning when the 2 reverends urge her to tell them who came to her with the devil which is already a sneaky way to ask her about the truth. This manipulation led by the reverends bring confusion’s to Tituba’s confession and this finally brings a general hysteria among the girls and the reverends. Manipulation and paranoia were as I recall also seen during McCartysm.
If the story line isn’t clear or if you’re just interested by seeing a movie adaption of this play here is a trailer of one which came out in 1996. (Yes, I know most of us weren’t even born yet but isn’t that what makes it interesting ?).

Laisser un commentaire