The Crucible Study Guide

The Crucible Study Guide

Arthur Miller is a strong name in the history of American drama performances. He was always good with words and knew how to see through the American society. He also had a strong political opinion and disagreed profoundly with an unsound anti-communistic agenda of the 1950s. 

In his plays he showed how different kinds of obsessions can be picked up by the population and lead to unreasonable and very damaging behaviors. The events in “The Crucible” focus on the real historic happenings of 1692 and 1693. A number of women were condemned of witchcraft in those years with all the consequences that come with it. 

The events of the book bear some real historic resemblance, yet it is still a work of author’s imagination. Abigail Williams together with a group of other young girls go for a dance in a forest and are caught behaving weirdly by the minister. When one of them falls into coma all the town becomes suspicious.

After numerous interrogations, the girls start talking about seeing a devil and soon even naming names. Trying to protect their wives and friends, citizens start to falsely accuse one another. In such unrest, even the dirty truth that has been revealed in order to dishonor a real liar turns out unnoticed and only bites its proclaimer. 

The book shows what happens when the government is heavily invested in the social affairs and judicial system is intermingled with religion. Personal relationships and interests overcloud the fairness of the assumptions, let along the trial. 

Even forgetting about the possible connections with public witch hangings and anti-communism raids, the text leaves profound impact on its own. It shows how susceptible humans are to hysteria. It draws a fine line between intolerance and oppression. It makes you wonder what it is that keeps us as a society, community or family together. 

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