Diction In The Crucible

The Salem witch trials have been a source of fascination for centuries, and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is one of the most well-known portrayals of the events. In this literary analysis, we’ll take a close look at The Crucible and explore how Miller uses the Salem witch trials to comment on social issues like mass hysteria and McCarthyism.

Salem was a Puritan town in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in 1692, a group of girls began to exhibit strange behavior that was interpreted as witchcraft. Over the course of the next few months, dozens of people were accused of being witches and put on trial. Nineteen of them were found guilty and executed by hanging.

The Crucible is set in Salem in 1692, and it tells the story of the Salem witch trials from the perspective of John Proctor, a farmer who is accused of being a witch. Miller uses the Salem witch trials to comment on social issues like mass hysteria and McCarthyism.

One of the most notable aspects of The Crucible is the way that Miller depicts the role of fear in Salem. Fear is what drives the Salem witch trials; it’s what leads people to accuse others of witchcraft, and it’s what leads to nineteen innocent people being put to death. Salem was a Puritan town, and Puritans believed that Satan was always lurking, waiting to take over their souls. This belief led to a climate of fear in Salem, and it’s this fear that ultimately causes the Salem witch trials.

Miller also uses the Salem witch trials to comment on McCarthyism, which was a period of time in the 1950s when people were accused of being communists. Like Salem, McCarthyism was driven by fear, and it led to many innocent people being put on trial. Miller’s depiction of the Salem witch trials as a commentary on McCarthyism is particularly effective because it shows how easily mass hysteria can take over a community.

The Crucible is a powerful play that continues to resonate with audiences today. Miller’s exploration of fear, hysteria, and justice is as relevant now as it was during the Salem witch trials.

The Crucible is a wonderful piece of work that uses many forms of syntax, figurative language, and diction to improve its composition. In The Crucible, Miller employs figurative language to emphasize certain thoughts and concepts. To give the narrative a more biblical tone and place it in the past, Miller utilizes words in The Crucible.

Salem is a Puritan town, and the Bible was a very important book to the Puritans. By using diction that is similar to the Bible, Miller is able to connect with the Puritans on a deeper level. Salem is also a town that is known for the Salem witch trials.

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. Miller uses the Salem witch trials as an allegory for the McCarthy hearings, which were a series of hearings held by the United States Senate’s Subcommittee on Investigations (SIC) in 1953 to investigate accusations of communism in America.

In addition to the aforementioned, one of Arthur Miller’s strengths is his syntax. He employs syntax in The Crucible to demonstrate the intellectual capacities of various characters. To further tell the story of the witch trials, Miller combines these three distinct elements.

One example is the way he uses syntax to make Abigail seem more innocent. In this part of the play, Abigail is trying to get John Proctor to sleep with her. To make her seem more pure and angelic, Miller has her speaking in short phrases.

“Please, John.” (1.2.37).

“I never thought no such thing.” (1.2.38).

“It’s only that-“. (1.2.39).

By using short phrases, Miller makes Abigail sound like she’s flustered and not thinking clearly. This makes her appear more childlike and innocent, which is what she wants John to believe.

To illustrate this point, I’ll use a quote from The Crucible at the end of each section. Through diction, Miller demonstrates that the tale being told is taking place in the past and has a biblical impact as a result. In Act three, John Proctor pleads for his reputation not to be harmed and says, “Tell them I admitted myself; say that Proctor shattered his knees sobbing like a woman.”

The Salem witch trials were a very emotional and traumatizing event for all those involved, so by having Proctor say he broke his knees and wept like a woman, it allows the reader to understand how low Proctor has sunk to try and save himself and also shows just how much of an impact the Salem witch trials had on him. Not only does this diction choice by Arthur Miller show the emotional state that John Proctor is in, but it also creates a more serious and dark tone in the play.

By using the term woman instead of baby, which most people would use in this time period, he suggests that it is from a previous era by employing the word woman, which conveys a sensation of being in the past. When Proctor and Abigail speak with each other in Act 1, Abigail explains to Proctor that Elizabeth is slandering her and destroying her reputation in the community.

Abigail uses the Salem Witch Trials as an example of how people’s names can be ruined. Abigail says, “I have heard it said that the dust of a house-wife is a good luck charm to some. But not to me, John. I think it is bad luck to keep such things.” In this line, she is showing how much power women had in Salem at the time. If a woman’s name was ruined, she would be considered an outcast and no one would want to associate themselves with her. This shows how much control the Salem Witch Trials had over the community. It also shows how reputation was everything back then. People would rather risk their lives than have their name smeared.

Another literary device that Arthur Miller uses is symbolism. Throughout the play, there are many examples of symbolism. One example is when Parris says to Proctor, “I have no wife anymore! You took her from me!” This line is symbolic of the Salem Witch Trials taking away people’s families. Not only did it take away people’s families, but it also took away their homes and their livelihoods. Many people were forced to leave Salem because of the trials. The Salem Witch Trials destroyed many lives and left a lasting impact on the community.

The Crucible is a play that is still relevant today. It speaks to the human condition and how easily we can be led astray by fear and paranoia. It is a cautionary tale that reminds us of the importance of reason and justice. The Salem Witch Trials were a dark time in American history, but they are also a part of our shared experience as a nation. We can learn from the mistakes of our past and use that knowledge to make a better future.

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