Miller bases the play on the historical account of the Salem witch trials.
First produced on Broadway on January 22,the play was partly a response to the panic caused by irrational fear of Communism during the Cold War which resulted in the hearings by the House Committee on Unamerican Activities. This is simply not history.
The real story is far more complex, dramatic, and interesting - and well worth exploring. Miller himself had some things to say about the relationship between his play and the actual historical event that are worth considering.
In the Saturday Review inHenry Hewes quotes Miller as stating, "A playwright has no debt of literalness to history. Right now I couldn't tell you which details were taken from the records verbatim and which were invented. Whether this activity is worthwhile or not really depends on what one wants from the play or movie.
I find that many people come across this unusual episode in American history through Miller's story, and if they want to start learning what "really" happened inthey have a hard time distinguishing historical fact from literary fiction because Miller's play and characters are so vivid, and he used the names of real people who participated in the historical episode Essay about the crucible and mccarthyism his characters.
This play is not history in the sense in which the word is used by the academic historian.
Dramatic purposes have sometimes required many characters to be fused into one; the number of girls involved in the 'crying out' has been reduced; Abigail's age has been raised; while there were several judges of almost equal authority, I have symbolized them all in Hathorne and Danforth.
However, I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history.
The fate of each character is exactly that of his historical model, and there is no one in the drama who did not play a similar - and in some cases exactly the same - role in history.
As for the characters of the persons, little is known about most of them except what may be surmised from a few letters, the trial record, certain broadsides written at the time, and references to their conduct in sources of varying reliability.
They may therefore be taken as creations of my own, drawn to the best of my ability in conformity with their known behavior, except as indicated in the commentary I have written for this text.
This is problematic for anyone who is beginning to take an interest in the historical episode, based on his powerful play.
A Life, originally published inMiller recounts another impression he had during his research: One day, after several hours of reading at the Historical Society [ In one of them, a shaft of sepulchral light shoots down from a window high up in a vaulted room, falling upon the head of a judge whose face is blanched white, his long white beard hanging to his waist, arms raised in defensive horror as beneath him the covey of afflicted girls screams and claws at invisible tormentors.
Dark and almost indistinguishable figures huddle on the periphery of the picture, but a few men can be made out, bearded like the judge, and shrinking back in pious outrage. Suddenly it became my memory of the dancing men in the synagogue on th Street as I had glimpsed them between my shielding fingers, the same chaos of bodily motion - in this picture, adults fleeing the sight of a supernatural event; in my memory, a happier but no less eerie circumstance - both scenes frighteningly attached to the long reins of God.
I knew instantly what the connection was: Yes, I understood Salem in that flash; it was suddenly my own inheritance. I might not yet be able to work a play's shape out of this roiling mass of stuff, but it belonged to me now, and I felt I could begin circling around the space where a structure of my own could conceivably rise.
My best guess is that what Miller may have seen was a lithograph - popular framed wall art in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - from a series produced in by George H. Baker [See image to the right to compare with Miller's description.
Although it is fine for artists to be inspired by whatever stimulates their creative sensibilities, Miller's descriptions of his own research, however credible they may come across and however vivid an imprint they may have left on him, are riddled with inaccuracies, and memories Miller claims to have had of the primary sources, are seriously flawed.
When the movie was releasedMiller published an article in the New Yorker, discussing "Why I Wrote The Crucible", in which he describes, over four decades after writing the play, what he remembered of his process with the material. He began by stating that he had read Salem Witchcraft: Upham, who was then the mayor of Salem - that I knew I had to write about the period.THE CRUCIBLE One of the Best!
This movie is on TWM's short list of the best movies to supplement classes in United States History, High School Level. How to Find a Catchy Title for Your Paper/Essay. In this Article: Article Summary Understanding the Structure of a Title Using Keywords or Images Using a Quote or a Play on Words Community Q&A Coming up with an effective title can end up being the most difficult part of your essay.
A summary of Symbols in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Crucible and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Monday: Socratic Chairs Unit Goal: Discuss what makes a successful film adaptation of a literary text by comparing The Great Gatsby directed by Jack Clayton () and The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann () Objective: Consider two portrayals of the same literary text through film to examine what gives characters lasting power and why and how they evolve over time.
The Crucible Homework Help Questions. Analyze what a good name means to some of the characters in The Crucible. The importance of having a good name is stressed throughout this play, and is a.
The Role of Reverend Hale as a Catalyst in The Crucible - The Salem witch trials of was an event that shaped the history of this country, as well as the lives of those whose wives and husbands were condemned to death.