ABOUT THE BOOK
Arthur Miller's The Crucible is one of the most enduring American plays of the twentieth century. Using the infamous Salem Witch Trials as a thinly-veiled metaphor for Senator Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee, the play brought to light disturbing parallels between the hysteria of a 17th Century witch hunt and the intimidation and incrimination tactics of those trying to root out Communists.
In a broader context, The Crucible deconstructs such topics as the practice of obtaining confession through intimidation, the internal bickering which can unfairly influence those in positions of power, and the danger of creating mass hysteria, to name a few. The play's simple, direct style contributes to its accessibility and clarity. Miller's characters speak plainly, though the attentive reader will find rich veins of subtext within the dialogue.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
The Crucible takes place in the town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It follows the members of this small religious community as they fall prey to a lie about witchcraft. What follows is a witch trial that destroys the very fabric of the community.
The play begins with Reverend Parris attending to his daughter Betty, who lies in bed unresponsive. He has just caught her dancing in the forest with his niece Abigail, his slave Tituba, and some other girls from town. Already there are rumors in town of witchcraft.
Mr. and Mrs. Putnam soon announce that their daughter Ruth has also fallen ill. There is a group of concerned citizens in the reverend's parlor. He laments how this news will affect his precarious reputation.
Quicklet on Arthur Miller's The Crucible
+ About the Book
+ About Arthur Miller
+ Overall Summary
+ Chapter-by-Chapter Commentary & Summary
+ ...and much more
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