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"The Crucible", Fact Or Fiction? Essay

1625 words - 7 pages

The Salem Witch Craft Trials began in 1692, due to illness upon two young girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, which could not be diagnosed. The girls were victim to hallucinations and seizures. The Salem Village doctor was unable to diagnose any true illness, so concluded that the girls had been bewitched. In recent studies they thought that they might have suffered from encephalitis lethargica, though this is not a fact. The symptoms from the medical condition describe the same symptoms that one can get from eating moldy rye wheat bread, which was what the scientists in 1970 concluded. In this paper I will show you the fact and fiction of The Crucible, written by the famed playwright Authur Miller, and directed by Nicholas Hytner, starring Winona Ryder and Daniel Day Lewis.The first witchcraft accusation took place in the Salem Village at the end of February 1692, the accused being a Parish of the town at the time. In the beginning of the movie, there was a group of girls dancing around a fire, and trying to conjure the boys that they loved and wanted to be loved back by. Tituba was the leader of the dancing and the wild riots that took place in the woods that Reverend Parris walked up upon in the movie. Margo Burns, author of Authur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction tells us that this never happened. However, he tells us that some of the girls tried to discover the occupations of their "future husbands" with an egg in a glass, what now would be crystal ball style.In Miller's tale, he portrays Abigail as a love hungry seventeen year old who is in love with John Proctor, a married man, so as revenge for not being able to have him, she creates wild hysteria in the town. Burns states that, "the accused were really just oddballs that the community tacitly approved getting rid of, but most of the people who were accused, convicted and executed in Salem were remarkable by their very adherence to community norms". The real story, history, is much more complex, dramatic, interesting and gruesome. Miller tells us in his book, The Crucible, that the play was not completely historically accurate. Miller states that, "dramatic purposes have sometimes required many characters to be fused into one". I found this to be true in one example in the movie. There were several judges of equal authority that all held and maintained the Salem Witch Craft Trials, in the movie, the number was reduced to three, Hathorne, Sewall, and Danforth.Another discrepancy between the movie and history were some of the names. The Putnam's daughter was not named Ruth, her name was Ann, like her mother, it was changed so that the audience would be able to differentiate between the two. In reality the women went by Ann Putnam Junior and Ann Putnam Senior. Ann Putnam was also portrayed in the movie as one of the first two girls to become afflicted with witchcraft, when in fact it was Betty Parris and Abigail Williams. The girls also had violent and physical fits; they were...

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