Term Paper: Crucible the Film Version

Pages: 2 (669 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Film  ·  Buy for $19.77


[. . .] The other glaring difference between the historical events at the Salem village in 1692 and the film is its theme of sexual relationship between Abigail Williams, the niece of Reverend Parris, and John Proctor a Salem farmer. At the center of the movie's story is Abigail's accusation of witchcraft against John Proctor, who having committed adultery with his one-time servant in a moment of weakness, repents his mistake and rejects her. Such a liaison almost certainly did not occur as Proctor was over 60 years old and Abigail was only 11 at the time of the trial. Proctor's involvement in the witch trials and his eventual hanging occurred because of his indiscretion in openly denouncing the trials and the girls' accusations as a scam, rather than any sexual indiscretion.

Furthermore, Reverend Parris' slave-woman, Tituba, who was accused of having tutored the girls in the art of witchcraft, has been inaccurately depicted in the movie as a black African woman rather than the South American Indian that she actually was.

Despite such obvious divergence from the historical facts, The Crucible does manage to focus attention on one of the most shameful episodes in America's early history. It reminds us how easily religious righteousness, superstition, guilt and run-away self-interest can combine to blind apparently "good men" into committing unbelievably cruel acts. It also shows us how mass hysteria in a closed community feeds upon and snowballs into a dangerous atmosphere of persecution, leading to tragic consequences.

The days of the Salem witch-hunt of the 17th century and McCarthyism of the 1950s may now be part of history, but the evil in men lurks just under the surface -- waiting to break out at the slightest opportunity.


Ebert, Roger. (1996). "The Crucible." Movie Review. Chicago Sun-Times. December 20, 1996. Retrieved on December 15, 2004 from http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961220/REVIEWS/612200302/1023

At the ripe old age of 81

Miller himself said, "The play is not reportage of any kind .... what I was doing was writing… [END OF PREVIEW]

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