In The Crucible, the events flow naturally from one event to the next. Everything occurs naturally from the mood of the characters. This story is not contrived, but is based on a true story. This story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in the late sixteen-hundreds. The characters of the story were superstitious and gullible, which allowed for the mass hysteria taken place. The incident begins with the girls dancing in the forest, which in turn, generates a witch hunt. The conflict was sufficient enough to keep interest aroused. There were tension and suspense in the story, covering basic human instincts and qualities. The story shows the human necessity for survival, and the lengths which one will go to save his life.
The play opens in a scene of chaos; Betty Parris, daughter of Reverend Parris, has slipped into what is now known as a coma. When Betty does not awaken, the townspeople immediately turn to witchcraft as the concern. Jealousy, caused by theocracy of the times, causes many of the people to accuse others of witchcraft. Debates over property lines occur; neighbors are at each others’ throats. Centering now upon John Proctor, and his wife, Elizabeth, the story takes a turn. Elizabeth is accused by Abigail Williams of witchcraft. When Elizabeth is standing trial, Abigail now accuses John of the same crime; he is now to stand trial, also. At the story’s end, John is hanged, and it becomes apparent to the town of Salem that there is no such thing as witchcraft. As a result of these occurrences, theocracy came to an end in Salem.
The ending to the play symbolizes the struggle evident throughout. The Crucible goes a long way to help understand the tragedies which occurred in Salem, as well as the tragedy during the nineteen-fifties. Millers’ style of writing is very simple. He uses simple sentences and words to make the reading easier to understand. The dialogue is effective in sounding like actual speech. Miller created images throughout the story which are hard to forget.
The Crucible has had over 500 performances, around the world. The play is an engaging and timeless drama, with continued popularity not only in the United States,