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The Play Crucible And Novel 1984 Comparing The Ways In Which The Two Authors Express The Themes Of Authority, Power, Repression And Rebellion

2547 words - 10 pages

The Play Crucible is a fictional re-call of events in the American history surrounding the Salem witch trials of the seventeenth century which also provide the metaphor for Miller's parable of the Mc Carthy trials of the 1950s, John Proctor's agonising struggle with guilt emphasises the restrictive nature of the Puritan society. The play explored the fate of citizens when the law of church and state was manipulated for personal gains and individuals end up having to decide, at great personal cost, where their loyalty lies. During the time of mistrust and hostility between USA and USSR, Senator Joseph McCarthy chaired a committee to rid of the Communists from the United States government and its nation. Mc Carthy alleged that the United States government departments were infiltrated by the communists and this made him start a campaign against them. During this time he accused many of the public servants including teachers and civil servants as well as more prominent personalities of having pro-communist beliefs. Miller himself was accused of this and was called before the Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1956 to testify and when he had refused to apologise, he was sent for trial. Initially they fined him and gave a suspended prison sentence, which he appealed to and was later acquitted of. Miller fought to maintain his dignity and his principles, like his John Proctor in the play who stood up to what he believed in to the end. The Salem witch trials took place from June through September of 1692, during which time nineteen men and women were hanged in the small town of Salem Massachusetts. Hundreds of other persons faced accusations of witchcraft and dozens more languished in jail without trials.1984 is about Winston Smith who lived in London which was a part of the country Oceania. Oceania was a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censored everyone's behaviour, even their thoughts. Winston was angry with his oppressed life and secretly wanted to join the fabled Brotherhood, a group of underground rebels with the intent of overthrowing the government. The book was written partly in third person, and partly in first person seen through the main character's eyesThe extract from the Novel 1984 is centered on where Winston's brutal torture begins. At the hands of O'Brien, who represents Big Brother incarnate, Winston endures constant beatings, electric shock treatment, and psychological abuse. Winston fights bravely to endure the excruciating pain but he is powerless. Slowly, as he deals with more increasingly painful shocks, O'Brien tells Winston,"Who controls the past 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'".The Party has complete control over the population in the present. They destroy the people's history and in time the erase is forgotten and the Party create their own history. They use this control to influence people's memories, editing the ones that are no longer worthwhile because they have no...

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