The Changes that John Proctor and Reverend Hale go Through as the Play Progresses
"The Crucible" symbolises the events in 1950's America when anyone who
was suspected of left wing views was accused of 'Un-American'
activities. "The Crucible" was Miller's inventive way to criticise the
paranoia surrounding a too conservative American government. After
appearing before the committee numerous times to defend himself of
suspected Communist activities, Miller used his pen the greatest
weapon to confront the silly attacks purposed upon him. This essay
will tell you the general background to the play? What the
similarities are between 1690's Salem witchcraft trials and 1950's
McCarthy America and most importantly how would Miller want an
audience to react to Proctor and Hale at the end of the play?
A crucible is a metal dish used to separate metals from its ore. A
compound of metals would be inserted from one end and from the other
end only the pure elements would come out, the remains would be poured
elsewhere. A crucible can be compared with a tough situation or as
life. When Proctor and Hale were put through the 'crucible' would they
come out pure or as useless remains?
"The Crucible" is a story of the events in 1692 Salem which led to the
mass hysteria where witchcraft trials would decide the fate of many
people. The play tells us about the events leading to 19 innocent
people being killed due to false accusations. There was a real powers
struggle at the time where the opinions or views of people with a
higher status would be considered where as if you were of a lower
status, were different or if you apposed to the status quo and you
were accused of being a witch then you were finished. When Parris saw
Abigail and the girls dancing in the woods he suspects witchcraft but
doesn't say anything because he is worried about his status in the
community. Miller wants Parris to act this way to show the audience
that he is daft and why later on in the play why he is not well liked.
Betty was ill the next day and the doctor could not find a cure so
Parris confronts Abigail about dancing in the woods. Fearing
punishment she deceitfully accuses Tituba of being a witch. She was
whipped almost straight away because she was a black slave.
This whole joke suddenly created huge chaos as the girls kept this
cameo going. In terror of being victimized themselves, people accused
others of dealing with the devil. Hoping to possibly move the focus of
the investigations elsewhere, many followed this unfortunate path.
Hatred, denial and perhaps even shock were all driving factors behind
the actions of the townspeople. In an attempt to sort out all these
witch allegations an expert of this field was called in from Beverly.
His name was Reverend John Hale. He was nearing forty, a