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Regarding Salem Essay

837 words - 3 pages

There are many great historical fiction novels in print today. All Quiet On The Western Front, The Boleyn Inheritance, Baudolino, The Crucible. All of these novels take place in great historical times: World War I, the Elizabethan Era, the 12th century, the period of the Salem Witch Trials. Perhaps the most interesting time period and tale remains the aforementioned Witch Trials. The hysteria, the accusations, the cold and heartless trials, the death sentences-all of these elements work together to snatch even the casual reader’s fascination right out of the air. After reading Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the historical accuracy of the text can be slightly questionable. Following extensive research, one can conclude that The Crucible was generally accurate, but had its flaws; and not only was the novel acceptably accurate, it also portrayed the madness surrounding the Witch Trials incredibly well.
One difference in the historical events as opposed to the events in The Crucible can be found in several wrong facts about “Ruth”, or Ann Putnam. In actuality, Ruth’s name was Ann Putnam Jr. (Biography of Ann Putnam Jr.). Because The Crucible is in play form, it is most likely that Ann’s name was changed for the sake of the audience. Had there been two women named Ann on stage at once, a possibility for confusion would have been present. Another inaccuracy can be found in the number of siblings Ann Jr. had. The Crucible stated that seven infants died; in fact, Ann Jr. had nine siblings ranging from “7 months to 18 years” old (Biography of Ann Putnam Jr.). Miller might have changed this fact in order to allow the girls to say that they were dancing naked to find out who killed the infants in the novel. Another reason he might have changed this could be to aid to the gloomy, dreary mood of The Crucible and overall witch trials. Although these inaccuracies are not major, they nonetheless detract from the factual values of the novel.
Delving more into the characters of The Crucible, fiction can again be found woven into the storyline. In the book, the judges for the trials were Thomas Danforth, John Hathorne, and Samuel Sewall. The novel made no mention of Chief Justice William Stoughton or Nathaniel Saltonstall. Unlike Saltonstall, Soughton was avid about witch hunting. Saltonstall eventually resigned from the court-Stoughton signed his death warrants shortly after (The Witchcraft Trials In Salem). On June 10 of 1962, Nathaniel Saltonstall was hung for his resignation and...

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