IB English HL 1
November 4, 2009
The Crucible Drama Analysis
Arthur Miller decided the title his play, The Crucible, because the play can relate to all the definitions of the word, crucible. The first definition of a crucible is a severe test, such as a trial. This obviously relates to The Crucible of all the trials and accusations which took place throughout the play. Along with the trials, the citizens of Salem had to endure severe tests of their beliefs. Another definition of a crucible is a vessel in which substances are heated to high temperatures. The town of Salem turns into a crucible. It becomes a terrible place where people, such as Abigail Williams, are trying to burn other people.
Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in New York City. Only after graduating from high school in 1932 he attended City College in New York for two weeks, and then worked for his father to earn money to attend the University of Michigan. He enrolled there two years later to study drama. He graduated in 1938, having won several awards for his playwriting. Miller returned to New York City and wrote for the Federal Theater Project before any of his work could be produced. In 1944, the Broadway production of his play The Man Who Had All the Luck opened but closed after four performances. During the 1950’s Miller’s work was greatly influenced by the communist red scare. The Crucible, written in 1952, shows how similar the Salem witch trials were to Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations of anti-American activities. Miller was even called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in June 1956 and was asked to give the names of guilty parties. After the Crucible, Miller wrote short pieces and plays. After the mid-1960s Miller had no major successes. However he still remained an important figure in American drama. His achievements include a Pulitzer Prize in 1949, a...