American Literature H
24 September 2012
The Crucible is a tale of an actual tragedy. This play was written by Arthur Miller, contemporary to McCarthyism and reflects a real story of the Salem Witch Trials. Miller uses this play to communicate the very essence of these events. In the Crucible, Miller incorporates critical figurative language devices, including irony, allegory, and allusion, which were used to communicate themes, such as, vengeance, and the power of conformity, throughout the text.
Allegory, by definition is ‘a representational work that uses symbolic figures, objects, and actions to convey truths or generalizations about human conduct or experience’. For example, Miller chose the title ‘The Crucible’, which symbolically represented the reoccurring theme of conformity. A crucible is a device, or container which immerses objects in high temperature for means of purification. The town of Salem and mainly the church serve as a crucible, en masse, out to rid any and every civilian of ungodly impurities, as well as any other unfavorable characteristics. In Act I, Miller makes it evident that any ill behaviors, which do not reflect the theocratic essence of Salem will not be tolerated. For example, Reverend Parris is deliberate in keeping the details of the forest secret and kept quiet from the church. Another definition of crucible is a severe test or trial. Obviously many of the characters in the Crucible are put on trial for witchcraft, but essentially, these trails are a test of faith. Will one deny their faith to save their life? In Act 4, Reverend Hale, admits he led believers astray, and aided them in denying their faith, he says “I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves” (Miller 131). However, Miller chose Rebecca Nurse’s story to theoretically, ‘pass her test’. Rebecca sacrifices her life in honor of her faith. In Act IV, She admits to not a single meeting with the devil to spare her hanging and instead... [continues]
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