The Crucible Essay

The Crucible is a 1952 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as a narrative to McCarthyism, when the US government blacklisted accused communists. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693.

Even though The Crucible is based on the Salem witch trials, they have differences such as, the relationship between John Proctor and Abigail Williams, and the towns’ relationship with the Putnam’s. In January of 1962 several adolescent girls became fascinated by Tituba’s, the servant of Reverend Samuel Parris of Salem Village, stories of natural magic and island culture. Two of the girls were related to Samuel Parris, Abigail Williams and Betty Parris, while others were children of his supporters.

It is said that the girls were conjuring spirits and fell ill. William Griggs, the village doctor, was called in when they failed to improve.

He diagnosed that Abigail and Betty had been bewitched, thus starting the Salem Witch trials. Afraid of being accused of witchcraft the girls subsequently named the people who supposedly bewitched them. Anyone who experienced any loss believed the outrageous accusations of the hysterical girls as confirmation of what they already suspected. The play, The Crucible, is about a group of girls that go dancing in the forest with a black slave named Tituba. While dancing, they are caught by the local minister, Reverend Parris. One of the girls, Parris’s daughter Betty, falls into a coma-like state.

People gather in the Parris home while rumors of witchcraft fill the town. With the fear of being accused of witchcraft, the girls start accusing others of bewitching them. Abigail Williams was the mastermind behind all of the accusations. All of the girls involved in the “dancing” accused anyone that posed a threat to them or had been suspected of doing anything bad. In turn, dozens of people were accused of witchcraft and hanged. Although what really happened in the Salem Witch Trials and what was portrayed in the play, the Crucible, are similar they have a few differences.

One difference is the relationship between John Proctor and Abigail Williams. In The Crucible, Abigail Williams was the servant of John Proctor until they slept together and Abigail was thrown out by John’s wife, Elizabeth Proctor. The real relationship between Abigail and John was nothing like that in the Crucible in fact; they hardly had a relationship at all. Another difference is the relationship between the town and Thomas and Ann Putnam. In The Crucible, the Putnam’s were strongly hated. Arguments over land and power led to the hatred. The real relationship wasn’t as bad.

The town still disliked them but the hatred wasn’t as strong as in the play. In conclusion, The Crucible play and what really happened are very different in terms of relationships, but they are both based on the same events. Today something like The Crucible would never happen, because people aren’t hanged anymore in America and witchcraft isn’t as bad of a crime. Even though there was hardly any evidence against the accused they were hanged anyways. Today, this would never happen because America’s justice system is more logical and fair so lies from young children won’t be blown out of proportion.

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