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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Based on historical people and real events, Miller’s drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In th “I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history,” Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts.
In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town’s most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence.
Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing “Political opposition A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical milled. Paperbackpages. Published June by Milker first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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I haven’t finished reading this book but don’t we need to consider the fact that it’s writting about a real period in history? By the time this happened in salem, women didn’t have power nor respect, we couldn’t expect from A.
If this is not the case, please explain me why. Lisa I’m not sure I completely understand your question, but here is my answer based on what I see. In the Puritan world of the s, no women did not …more I’m not sure I completely understand your question, but here is my answer based on what I see. In the Puritan world of the s, no women did not have any power or voice in the community.
Children had even less power than women did, but in Salem, at that time, the children were heard and they were asked for milelr opinions and given a great deal of power. They chose who was accused and who was not.
It was an extremely intoxicating combination. Arthur Miller took a great many liberties while writing the play and often times confused true reality with his own arthyr as can be seen in his interviews regarding the play.
This play needs to be considered Historical Fiction. It revolves around a real time, a true tragedy, and highlights humans who lived through the Salem Witch Trials, but Abigail was a girl of about 12 and did not have an affair with John Proctor, almost all of the girl’s ages were advanced for the story, and much of the scandal around Parris was ceisol exaggerated.
Going back to history, once the girls and their parents realized what accusing neighboring land owners of witch craft could gain them, the accusations ran rampant. Children learned to manipulate situations to garner more attention from their parents, and parents learned to manipulate their children into accusing more and more people for increased wealth. Arthur Miller used this time in history to show a resemblance to the Red Scare of the s.
If you were accused of witchcraft in the s, your land was forfeit when you were hung, and your family lost everything, but if you confessed, criaol essentially got your life back.
In the s, if you arthug accused of being a Communist, your livelihood was destroyed think Charlie Chaplinbut if you gave up a couple more names, your name got taken off the Black List.
My apologies for a very long-winded answer, but I wasn’t sure exactly what you were looking for, and I hope this helps. Michael Headrick It is a criticism of McCarthy’s tactics because in both The Crucible and the “The Red Scare,” those that were accused and didn’t want to be hung The …more It is a criticism of McCarthy’s tactics because in both The Crucible and the “The Red Scare,” those that were accused and didn’t want to be hung The Crucibleor put in jail The Red Scareconfessed and blamed someone else so they could feel like they got off without any form of criticism or punishment.
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Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists. Recently, a group of students allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU in Delhi, and the political and religious conservatives in India went virtually mad. Soon, any criticism of India was seen as unpatriotic and traitorous.
The JNU, a leftist stronghold and a thorn in the flesh of the Hindu Right-Wing government at the centre, was termed a positive adthur of crime and vice and a recruiting ground for terrorists. Many a Muslim, unless he wore his love of Indi Recently, a group of students allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU in Delhi, and the political and religious conservatives in India went virtually mad. Many a Muslim, unless he wore his love of India on his sleeve for all to see, was branded a Pakistani agent – the refusal to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai” Victory to Mother India resulted in intimidation and even physical abuse in many places.
What is interesting about this phenomena is that it is not only an orchestrated move from the right-wingers: There is a paranoia that is being exploited by the political vultures. I am frightened by how much this resembles McCarthyism – the madness that gripped America from to 56 and destroyed many lives and careers.
Wikipedia says During the McCarthy era, eo of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive e, and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies.
The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and cirsol activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned, laws that were later declared unconstitutional, dismissals for reasons later declared illegal or actionable, or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.
It seems that human beings don’t learn anything from history, and therefore keep on repeating it. But then, according to Arthur Miller, the Red Scare of the fifties was a repeat of a much darker event from the seventeenth century – the Salem Witch Trails.
Las Brujas de Salem y El crisol
He wrote this play in mi,ler remind fellow citizens on how mass hysteria can engulf a society and demolish civilisation. Soon, people were being denounced left and right as witches and executed. Malicious people with revenge and other material interests such as grabbing a condemned person’s property seems to have contributed enthusiastically to the madness. As John Proctor, an accused, says in the play: Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers?
I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem – vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! These words are chillingly applicable to both McCarthyism and the events I quoted at the beginning: Anybody can be accused – proof is not required, accusation is proof enough.
Any kind of fair dealing and neutrality would be seen as potential collaboration, so the safest thing is to side with the accusers.
Verily, the term “witch hunt” has entered the English language with strong credentials. A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud – God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together! We, the conformists who let the madness continue to save our own islands of comfort in this burning sea of paranoid anger.
He wanted to emphasise the heat and the fire, the hatred and the horror: Times of extreme tribulations in society are usually followed by a period of rejuvenation.
The playwright takes a lot of liberty with history to make his point. This is nothing new: Shakespeare regularly did this, it seems. So in the play, the historical year-old Abigail Williams, the niece of the puritan minister Reverend Parris of Salem is transformed into an oversexed teen. She has seduced John Proctor in whose house she was working as a servant, and has apparently tried out some black magic to kill his wife.
During such a magic session in the woods with Tituba and other kids, the Parris’s Caribbean servant, they are surprised by the minister.
Las Brujas de Salem y El crisol by Arthur Miller (4 star ratings)
Ep, the minister’s young daughter, falls into a dead faint and cannot be cured by the doctor. Abigail immediately shouts witchcraft, and others join in; and soon the subterfuge becomes mass hysteria. Miller has chosen John Proctor to be tragic hero of this play; haunted by guilt at his infidelity even more so because his wife forgives ithe seeks punishment for himself, at least inside his soul.
His torment is further compounded as his wife Elizabeth is denounced as a witch by Abigail. To make matters worse, there is the cunning Thomas Putnam, abetting the hysteria to settle scores against old opponents and grab their lands. As the roller-coaster of paranoia rolls on towards its destructive end, Proctor himself is sentenced to hang for witchcraft but Elizabeth ironically escapes as she is pregnant.
Arghur the insistence of friends and a few sane people who want to stop the madness, John Proctor confesses at the last moment: Man, you will hang! And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.
He was subjected to a horrendous form of torture called “pressing” thankfully it occurs offstage in the play where more and more rocks were piled on his chest in an effort to make him speak. Giles endured this for a whole two days before he died – his last words, reportedly, were “more weight”.
There’s guts for you! View all 29 comments. Because I cannot have another in my life. A piece of great American theatre, a gift to actors, and a wonderful read! One thing it is not is a piece of history, so be warned. Too many people read this as a historical text, despite Arthur Miller’s explicit instructions ctisol the play’s notes to not do so, and thus they miss the forest for the trees.
This is not an examination of the Salem Witch Trials, but rather a fictional rendering of a historical event, in order for the modern reader or viewer to examine their own bias, prejudices, hypocrisy, or concepts of honor.