Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Review

The drama, "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller is based on real events which happened in the city of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. It was a witch trial where accusations were enough to accuse people of performing witchcraft and to sentence them to death. The author studied the records from the court, what the real people said, so the characters in the story are real. Arthur Miller presented the atmosphere of the Salem witch trials, which made neighbors turn against neighbor, the mood of a time when no one was safe.

The drama has also more modern connotation. This part of American political history in the 1940s and 1950s was characterized later as McCarthyism. The term refers to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy who initiated political repressions as well as a campaign spreading fear of Communist influence on American institutions.  A congressional committee was conducting hearings to identify suspected Communists. Miller was called before the congressional committee and questioned about his activities with the American Communist Party. Miller refused to implicate others.

One of the characters of the story, a woman who was accused of witchcraft, named as her helpers all women she knew. They were accused and sentenced to death. It happened many times in the Middle Ages and it took place in a relatively modern society. The mass hysteria with help of mass media is able to turn the peaceful citizens, yesterday's neighbors, to mob.

The drama is deductive and well written, it's good for playing on the stage and just for reading.

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