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Arthur Miller The Crucible essay

The Crucible is a story about the Salem Witch Trials that was written in the 1950s. It is a story of hypocrisy, deceit, wealth, and the ability of evil people to exploit ignorance and promote hysteria. Arthur Miller was both praised and demonized for writing The Crucible as it was very controversial at the time that it was written. If you have been given an Arthur Miller The Crucible essay to write, you definitely have a challenging task ahead of you. While the play is certainly well-written, it is deep, complex, highly political, and dark. Simply deciding an essay topic and an approach to an essay about The Crucible, by Arthur Miller is a daunting task. Because of this, we have come up with a few ideas for writing an essay on this play.

Consider the Timelessness of The Crucible

When the play was released in the early 1950s, it was quickly recognized as an allegory about the subject of McCarthyism. Many of the characters and their behaviors represented a large portion of the American public during the time of McCarthyism. Just like with McCarthyism, Miller’s characters were quick to hysteria, eager to demonize others, ignorant, and absolutely cowardly. In the midst of all this was one individual who was the nexus of all this hysteria, just like Joe McCarthy was the nexus of fabricated communist scare in the early 50s. There are many potential essay topics that can be taken from this. Here are just a few:

  • Compare and contrast the Salem Witch Trials with the McCarthy Hearings
  • Compare McCarthy to Putnam
  • Did Miller do a good job of drawing parallels between McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials?

One of the reasons that The Crucible is still relevant today is that events like the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism can and have still happened in modern times. Here are few The Crucible essay ideas addressing this:

  • Why was fear such a motivating factor in The Crucible? How do those in power use fear today?
  • Explore the concept of hysteria as addressed in the play and as it still exists in modern society.
  • What impact did anti-intellectualism have on the events in The Crucible? How does this sentiment permeate society today?
  • Did strong religious beliefs influence the behavior of the characters in The Crucible, or would people have been driven to behave that way given any excuse? Is religion as influential today?
  • Which group of people in modern society is most likely to become the target of public hysteria and lack of information?

Writing your Essay on The Crucible

Once you have an understanding of the play and have selected a topic, you are ready to write your essay. This means taking notes on the play, researching the author, researching the Salem Witch trials, and doing contextual research so that you have an intelligent means of comparison. Realistically, you should expect to dedicate several hours to this assignment. However, if you choose not to go this route, you always have the option of contacting essaythinker.com for help on this or any other essay topic.