Read The Crucible!

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Read The Crucible!

Zachary Russo and Katie Dysert

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This week, our American Literature class has been analyzing one of the most famous plays of all time: The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The story takes place in the late 17th century during the Salem Witch Trials. The good people of Salem, Massachusetts fear the devil reigns over their land through witchcraft committed by Salem’s own people. Friends and family begin wildly accusing each other of “working with the devil” over the slightest inkling of strange events or odd behavior, leading to infamous court trials and unjust hangings. The Crucible follows Salem community members’ accusations and trials.

While the main reason for The Crucible being taught in schools is for its historical context, the story is applicable to many students’ high school careers. Throughout the story, many close friends and families accuse each other of witchcraft or many ulterior motives, much like the way rumors spread in high school. The accused, then, must defend themselves in court. How is one supposed to show they are not “working with the devil”? When one woman pleads that she is not a witch and even exclaims she doesn’t know what a witch is, the judge answers her by asking, “If you don’t know what witch is, how can you be sure you are not one?” This perfectly captures the struggle of many of the accused, just like many high-schoolers struggling to prove themselves to their peers.

The story is also developed through a toxic love story. John Proctor, well respected man in the community, commits adultery with his servant, Abigail Williams. What provides another layer to the story is Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, keeps his secret to prevent his execution. Goody Proctor’s love for her husband is able to surpass the hurt he has caused her. However, her lie, in good conscious will ultimately cause the death of many in the community in Salem. The story shows how the truth is subjective in life. It may not always be the “right” thing to do or what you want to do. The affair lays the foundation of lies the story is built upon and the irony in which “The Bible damns all liars.”

The Crucible reveals to the reader the cold hard truth in life that not everything is black and white. There is not always a right decision to make. There is not always a right thing to do. Life is unpredictable and unfair. We encourage our peers or anyone to read the play or see the movie because it is riveting, informative, and thought-provoking.

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