Comparing The Crucible And Salem Witch Trials

1781 words - 7 pages

The purpose of my paper is to compare and contrast Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the actual witch trials that took place in Salem in the 17th Century. Although many of the characters and events in the play were non-fictional, many details were changed by the playwright to add intrigue to the story. While there isn’t one specific cause or event that led to the Salem witch trials, it was a combination of events and factors that contributed to the birth and growth of the trials. Some of these events included: a small pox outbreak that was happening at the time, the revocation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony charter by Charles II, and the constant fear of Native attacks. These helped in creating anxiety among the early Puritans that they were being punished by God himself.
Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915, to Isidore and Augusta Barnett Miller. He was born into a family in which his mother was a teacher and his father, a prosperous manufacturer. He was not the greatest student (having failed Algebra three times) but instead was more interested in athletics during his teenage years. Having lost all of the family fortunes in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, after high school, Arthur went to work in a warehouse dealing with automobile parts. It was there that he picked up a copy of The Brothers Karamazov which influenced him into becoming a writer. A few years later, he was accepted to the University of Michigan where he majored in Journalism.
During his time in college, Miller wrote many plays which, in turn, he won awards for. His first play “The Man Who Had All the Luck” opened in Broadway in 1944 but, unfortunately, was short lived. Then in 1953, The Crucible opened on Broadway. While the play did focus on the Witch Trials of Salem having taken place in the 17th Century, many critics believed the play analogized with Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” for communists. A few years later, he was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. While admitting to his actions, he refused to name any others involved in the communist front activities.
“Miller also observes the tremendous forces that mere accusation had at this time, something that was evident as well in the McCarthy witch-hunts. A man’s career could be ruined if he were merely asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?””

In 1954, Miller was denied a passport by the State department when he had planned to attend the opening of his play in Brussels and this was not the end of Miller’s government troubles over the next few decades. He was called before Representative Francis Walter’s Committee on Un-American Activities where he talked to the members on various subjects. At this encounter, Miller was asked about his attendance at a Communist writers’ meeting in which he admitted to attending but was not willing to name any other attendees. Refusing to answer the questions of the committee, Miller was tried and found...

Find Another Essay On Comparing The Crucible and Salem Witch Trials

Arthur Miller's Comparing of Similarities in The McCarthy Era and The Salem Witch Trials Illustrated in The Crucible

1002 words - 4 pages “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it, I set myself entirely in your hands.” John Proctor says this to Danforth in the movie “The Crucible,” which is a fascinating, and disturbing story based on an important event in history. This event was the Salem Witch Trials. The author

The Salem Witch Trials Essay

1693 words - 7 pages the accused, fourteen women and five men” ; these events are known as the Salem Witch Trials. “The Salem Witch Trials happened between February of 1692 and May of 1693 in Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties of colonial Massachusetts. They consisted of a series of hearings and trials that were brought before the local magistrate in order to prosecute people accused of witchcraft. More than 150 people were accused and arrested of practicing

The Salem Witch Trials

981 words - 4 pages In the year 1692, many important events occurred; Aesop’s Fables, a certain form of calculator, but may be most notably known are the Salem Witch Trials. There are multiple factors that are thought to be cause to the infamous Trials, yet religion plays a strongly dominant role amongst the plethora of reasons. The events of Salem Village affected the colonies immediately following the trials, yet they had a lasting influence on the development

The Salem Witch Trials

2247 words - 9 pages center of trade with London. The people of Salem Village were normally poor farmers who earned money nurturing their crops. Salem Town desperately wanted independence from Salem Village, it was not possible since the town was very dependent on Salem Village because they offered food, crop prices and the town also collected taxes from the village (Salem Witch Trials Economic and Social Divisions). The Salem Village also had a bit of division within

The Salem Witch Trials - 1549 words

1549 words - 6 pages name, so they went along with what they felt would be accepted. When concerning the Witch Trials, people often rallied together and scolded those accused of compacting with the devil. I believe people simply put on a show to cover up their faults, and keep away from getting put on trial for things that may differentiate them from others of the community during the Salem Witch Trials. Works Cited Charles Brady, P. R. (2008). Document Based Questions in American History. In T. D. project, What caused the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria of 1692 (pp. 1-14). Evanston, Illinois: The DBQ project. Miller, A. (1976). The Crucible. New York, New York: Penguin Group.

The Salem Witch Trials - 2003 words

2003 words - 8 pages The Salem Witch Trials are a series of trials to convict accused witches in the community of Salem, Massachusetts in the late 17th century. There are many causes of these trials.The setting and time period of these trials must be considered when studying the causes of the Salem Witch Trials. Salem was a religious town in Puritan Massachusetts at the time of the trials. Puritan lifestyle is very strict leaves little room for creativity or

The Salem Witch Trials - 1044 words

1044 words - 5 pages more than 250 years ago. During the 20th century, scientist and artist continued to be captivated by the Salem witch trials. Plus, numerous theories have been created to explain the strange behavior that these young girls portrayed in Salem in 1692. One of the most individual studies, printed in Science, in 1976, by psychologist, Linnda Caporael, blamed the weird habits of the bewitched girls on the fungus, ergot. This type of fungus can be found

The Salem Witch Trials

1961 words - 8 pages In 1692 everyone was sure that the Devil had come to Salem when young girls started screaming, barking like dogs and doing strange dances in the woods. The Salem Witch Trials originated in the home of Salem's reverend Samuel Parris, who had a slave from the Caribbean named Tibuta. Tibuta would tell stories about witchcraft back from her home. In early 1692 several of Salem's teenage girls began gathering in the kitchen with Tibuta. When

The Salem Witch Trials - 1267 words

1267 words - 6 pages The Salem Witch trials were a series of arrests and, in extreme cases, executions of many people in the late 17th Century. It was caused by symptoms with unknown causes and extreme suspicion that led to numerous accusations and relentless panic in the small colonial town of Salem. Entire families were imprisoned, nineteen people were hanged, and many others died in prison. The Salem Witch Trails were a period of chaos that was the effect of

The Salem Witch Trials - 1518 words

1518 words - 6 pages basically revolves around the church which influenced how they lived their everyday lives. They had to go to church twice a week, attend long sermons, and avoid dancing which was deemed as a sinful act. There were events that led up to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Europeans strongly believed in devils practice which gave certain humans the ability to harm others in return for loyalty. The Puritan life in the village of Salem was harsh because

The Salem Witch Trials - 789 words

789 words - 4 pages The Salem Witch Trials was a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry Into the Salem Witch Trials is a historical narrative of the trials written by Marion L. Starkey. The trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts in the late seventeenth century. The author discusses the origin, duration and the aftermath of the incident

Similar Essays

The Crucible (Salem Witch Trials) Essay

744 words - 3 pages The Salem Witch Trials The play written by Arthur Miller, The Crucible, reveals the characters' true, private emotions and desires for each other and about themselves. The feelings that these characters had contributed to the outbreak of the witch trials in the town of Salem. For instance, the young woman, Abigail Williams, was completely in love with John Proctor who was married to Elizabeth Proctor at the time. Abigail was the

The Crucible And The Salem Witch Trials By Arthur Miller

1074 words - 5 pages , Americans faced poverty, and had no income because jobs weren’t available. Throughout his life Miller influenced many people with his plays, and his contributions to this day because people want to read and understand what was truly happening in past history. For example, “The Crucible” is a play about the Salem Witch Trials, giving a good understanding of the basics that went on in this time period. Another example of Miller’s influential work is “The

"The Crucible" By Miller, And Salem Witch Trials Of 1692

2167 words - 9 pages harbor (who were mostly merchants) of witchcraft. TheNew England Way as conceived by John Winthrop was slowly disintegrating by thebeginning of the Salem Witch Trials of early 1692. The Factionalism And Wealth Chartin Enduring Visions , demonstrates very clearly that those whose family income was lessthan 10 shillings ( 61%) were for the Rev. Parris and his entreaties of witchcraft. Themore prosperous families, those whose family income exceeded 20

Comparing The Salem Witch Trials And The Red Scare

1294 words - 5 pages Inspired by the Red Scare, which was fuled by use of the either-or ( black and white) fallacy of thinking, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible depicts the village of Salem undergoing its own period of black and white thinking along with the suspicion and hysteria which followed. Miller exploits the literary element of setting to support the portrayal of the effects of black and white thinking in Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The
Benvenuti a Marwen: il nuovo trailer del film di Zemeckis con Steve Carell Con questa performance l'attore può aspirare all'Oscar, grazie a un personaggio che crea empatia proprio come Forrest Gump. 23 Share | Most Watched | Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar (13)