Crucible Is the Story of the House Research Proposal

Pages: 2 (744 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Crucible is the story of the House Un-American Activities Committee, as headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy, but filtered through the prism of Salem, Massachusetts. Playwright Arthur Miller uses the witchcraft trials held in Salem as a historical analogy to condemn the anti-communist hysteria that afflicted America during the 1950s. Over the course of the play, for various reasons, different characters use the opportunity provided by the trials and people's fears, to suit their own personal and political purposes. However, the system created by the mass hysteria eventually becomes so out-of-control that even the individuals who advanced the original accusations cannot contain the system's power. Abigail wanted to use her power as an accuser to secure her reputation in the community, marry John Proctor, and destroy his wife Elizabeth. Instead, she unintentionally strengthens their bond in marriage, but kills Proctor in a kind of judicial homicide.

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Miller increased most of the age of the young Salem girls who accused their neighbors of witchcraft to decrease sympathy for the girls and to make their claimed possession seem more deliberate. Abigail Williams, an adolescent girl condemned as sexually forward by the community, is expelled by Elizabeth Proctor from the Proctor household for having an affair with Elizabeth's husband. While dallying in harmless fortune-telling with Tituba, a slave from Barbados, Elizabeth and some other girls grow frightened and exhibit signs interpreted by the hyper-religious Puritans of Salem as possession. The girls grow drunk on their power to accuse men and women of witchcraft. They half-believe their accusations, given the heady madness of that they feel as a collective unit. The ability of individuals with self-interested motives to abuse power, especially formerly powerless people like the girls, is one of the most potent themes of The Crucible. After all, McCarthy was an obscure senator until he branded himself as an anti-communist zealot.

Research Proposal on Crucible Is the Story of the House Assignment

Not all of the witch-hunters are mislead by base motives as Abigail: Reverend John Hale is at first persuaded of the existence of witchcraft, given the suffering of Reverent Paris' daughter young daughter Betty. But gradually Hale begins to trust John Proctor. Proctor always denies the existence of witchcraft, especially given his knowledge of Abigail's true character, but also because of his practical and unsentimental… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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