In 1953 Arthur Miller composed a play entitled The Crucible, by composing this he intended to challenge the presumptions of United States society and led individuals to question each others obligations. In the 1950’s senator Joe McCarthy began to make use of the United States worries of communism and organised a witch hunt. Miller would have seen this as comparable to the Holocaust in the sense that individuals were being mistakenly implicated of being witches when they were not. Arthur was a Jew and so would have had sympathy with these individuals and this in my eyes was one of the essential factors in the writing of this play.
Throughout the 17th century there was a break out in the belief of witchcraft in Europe.
This caused mass immigration from Europe to America; the immigrants were Puritans therefore established their own strict Christian communities. This is how Salem, Massachusetts entered being. Miller’s characters communicate my point through their change of personality from Act I through to Act IV.
There are various kinds of change throughout the play such as modification in character, beliefs and commitment and these all occur at some point in the play to different characters.
Proctor, a farmer, goes from a regional, well appreciated male to a guy accused of touching with the Devil. Abigail changes from sweet and gorgeous to destructive and evil. Hale on the other hand is bought into the play as a witchcraft ‘expert’, he winds up battling with this particular case and so changes into a frail, old and weak guy. Putnam is much like Proctor and his story throughout the play is similar and eventually ends in death.
The very first time Putnam is mentioned he is stated to be ‘vindictive’, meaning he is sly and malicious. But there is a reason for this nature of his; Miller does state that Thomas Putnam is a male ‘with lots of complaints’. This quote alone states that his vindictive nature follows a specific occasion in his life, this being that James Bailey (his son in law) had actually been declined as minister of Salem. However this changes entirely as the accusations of witchcraft come out from the woodwork, rather of being scarred by this complaint he relies on his controlling self. During Act I the Putnam household cry witchcraft on a particular Rebecca Nurse; this is all Thomas Putnam’s change ego. The Nurses were the ones who ultimately avoided James Bailey from taking workplace in Salem and for Putnam, blackening the Nurse name would definitely open the gateway for Bailey to end up being minister of Salem.
So, at the start of the play Putnam is depicted as the accuser, and rightly so. But as we go on through the play we see Putnam’s character modification somewhat rapidly from the accuser to the implicated. This is shown right when in Act III Danforth states, ‘Mr Putnam, I have here an allegation by Mr Corey versus you.’ This accusation alone demonstrates how Putnam’s character has actually altered from one extreme to the other; he has gone from accuser to the implicated. This outlook on Thomas Putnam goes someway to explaining how the entire experience in Salem has changed everyone and is larger now than ever previously. This shocks the audience as it shows that this whole ordeal in Salem is altering even the most reputable of males.
The next character we see is Reverend Hale; he is generated by Parris as a master of the supernatural arts, witchcraft. We are very first presented to Hale as, ‘Mr Hale is nearing forty, a tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual’. This makes the audience believe quickly that Hale is a well appreciated and well educated individual who is extremely contempt with his task, to the extent he actually enjoys it. Miller explained Hale as someone who, ‘… felt the pride …’.
This shows Hale took pride in the truth he was demanded and proficient at his job, and a professional in such locations. So, from how Miller describes Hale we see his desire to be included with this court and excited to display his capability, as this improves his self esteem. So it would be simple to assume that Hale would be a token for the additional Acts in the play, this is true to some degree, up until Act III where Hale eventually loses his head; he understands just how much this case has affected Salem and its residents, ‘I knock these procedures, I quit this court’.
This quote itself lets the audience understand just how much the circumstance in Salem has actually blown up into something that never needs to have been. How it has all spurred from one accusation to a more 10, then at the end, over one hundred. It shows the audience how the scenario has affected a lot of individuals and that Hale is the very first to realise this. He, as an outcome, quits the court, this offering proof to the declaration that Hale’s personality has actually entirely changed. Initially he wants to be involved (the hero) and take pride in his work.
And now, n Act III he gets as far away from the case as possible, it demonstrates how the situation is altering people, and more so how it has altered Reverend Hale. Hale is now depicted as a weak, deflated person, doing not have in personality. He goes from strong to frail and deflated. The audience watching this would feel puzzled at seeing this radical change in this holy moral figure. Possibly the most essential ambassador for modification in The Crucible is John Proctor. We are first presented to him during Act I, Miller describes John Proctor as, ‘… a farmer in his middle thirties. He need not have actually been a partisan of any faction in the town’