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Criticizing the Crucible

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Criticizing the Crucible

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  • Jan. 15, 2010
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Brenda Beltran
Ms. Brostrom
English 12 AP
“Criticizing The Crucible”
The novel, The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is looked at in two different ways. It has been viewed as a novel that takes place during the Salem witch trials but also as a metaphor to the McCarthy era and a terrible period in American history.

Arthur Miller was very “disappointed by the critic’s reactions” (Analysing the Historical Content) towards his novel. Most critics were declaring Miller’s novel as an allegory to 1950’s America. Miller did not write the novel as an allegory as the critics thought he did. He discusses The Crucible’s theme stating: “I am not sure what The Crucible is telling people now, but I know that its paranoid center is still pumping out the same darkly attractive warning that it did in the fifties. For some, the play seems to be about the dilemma of relying on the testimony of small children accusing adults of sexual abuse, something I’d not have dreamed of forty years ago. For others, it may simply be a fascination with the outbreak of paranoia that suffuses the play—the blind panic that, in our age, often seems to sit at the dim edges of consciousness. Certainly its political implications are the central issue for many people… ” (Storytelling” 164). Miller, at this point, understands what people believe his novel to be. Miller claimed, “No critic seemed to sense what I was after, which was the conflict between a man’s raw deeds and his conception of himself” (Analysing the Historical Content). Miller was just writing a novel that takes place in 17th century Salem, about a man with problems he has to overcome as stated, “Both women and men will empathize with John Proctor as he struggles to come to terms with himself as a human being subject to flaws, yet able to rise above his own concerns to help humankind” (“Storytelling”). Miller wrote the novel about John Proctor rising above his problems in his life also in his community. It is...