The Crucible: How the Title Relates to the Story 3

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft Pages: 3 (1024 words) Published: October 30, 2010
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The Crucible: How the title relates to the story
The Crucible is written by Arthur Miller. The title of the play seems very different and it is very significant to the entire story of the play. The title "The Crucible" is cleverly picked by Arthur Miller for his play. The play is about the Salem witch crafts of the 1660's. Because of this the word Crucible is very significant for its meanings. Throughout the play, we find that the characters have to go through severe tests that make them question their own self. If we talk about the real meanings of the word Crucible; it is an earthen pot that is used for melting metals. In a way the town of Salem, there was a crucible; people were brought before the court and blasted with allegations from others because they were supposed to be witches. They were either forced to give in and live a life or be hanged. The expression crucible could also be used to portray the heat of the situation; it is its metaphorical use. Innocent or blameless people were caught up in the witch hunts that were thrown into an agitated situation that had been blown completely out of proportion. The word crucible can also be symbolic for Hell. Matter in a crucible melt and fall to pieces and then they form a completely different substance. (Miller, 1992, p. 69-139) This word also symbolizes the prevailing norms of the society of Salem disintegrating and forming into a completely new one. After the condition had been heated up, the only things left are the remnants of society which once existed. Towards the end of this play, the accurate meaning of the word crucible was a ‘severe test’. John Proctor went through the strictest test and as a consequence his character underwent an extreme change throughout the play. The final test that John Proctor goes through is the ultimate decision that he makes before his death. The town of Salem was extremely religious and the people were...

Cited: Bigsby, C. W. E. Arthur Miller: A Critical Study. Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 10-524
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible, Harcourt Heinemann, 1992, p. 69-139
Ram, Atma. Perspectives on Arthur Miller, Abhinav Publications, 1988, p. 119-136
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