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The Title Of Arthur Miller´S The Crucible

1121 words - 4 pages

1. The Crucible refers to a melting pot, a test of endurance, and the carrying of the cross. Explain why this is an appropriate title for this play.

Essay on The Crucible by Fellipe Falluh

When Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible he intended to create a symbolic story. An obvious sign of The Crucible having a deeper meaning is that it was written to satirize the Red Scare of the 1950s. In addition the powerful title of The Crucible has several meanings that relate back to the play. The first meaning of the Crucible is “a container for melting or purifying metals,” and the second meaning is “a severe trial or test.” As a third meaning one could also say that the word “crucible” is related to the word “crucifix” and by extension the word “bible” if we extrapolate. Fourthly and lastly the Crucible can also be thought of as a literal kettle. Upon analysis it is striking at how aptly the title fits the story.

One of the meanings of the word "crucible" is "a container for purifying metals", which could be interpreted as a figurative meaning behind the name of the play. While there isn't an actual container that purifies metals in the story, the title symbolizes how the characters are stripped of their pride and dignity reducing them down to the core of their beings. However they aren't being "purified" in a noble manner that readers may be led to believe or hope for, though. Despite the fact that the Courts believed what their actions were "purifying" Salem, when in reality, they were making an already bad situation worse. The characters weren't being purified, rather events in the story stripped them of what defined them causing them to look deep within their hearts and question a corrupt society in order to not lose themselves in the surrounding madness. The people of Salem were called "Puritans", which proved to be highly ironic considering how girls were responsible for the death of numerous people and the Court was composed of the some of most impure people in Salem.

The term crucible could also be used to describe the heat of the situation. Innocent people were caught up in witch-hunts were thrown into an overheated situation completely blown out of proportion. The crucible may also symbolize Hell. Substances in a crucible melt and disintegrate to form completely different matters. This could symbolize the society of Salem disintegrating and reforming itself into a completely new one. After the situation had been heated what is left with are the remnants of a society that no longer exists.

The definition of "a severe trial or test," can also be related back to the story of The Crucible. In The Crucible, with the hysteria of witchcraft allegations and assumptions flying around town, the citizens were put through a severe test of opting to either doing what was right or going against their consciences. A main character that was put through this trial was John Proctor. At the beginning of the play one may say that John Proctor was 'impure' or...

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