: What Do Author's Descriptions of Places Contribute to Our Understanding of Their Stories, Plays or Poems?

Essay Topic: What do author’s descriptions of places contribute to our understanding of their stories, plays or poems?

  All the novels and plays have a setting which plays a crucial role in the understanding of the literary work. This setting is usually selected for a particular purpose and is usually related with the major themes of the works. The setting also assists the authors to develop and support their ideas. In the play “The Crucible” which is written by Arthur Miller and in the novel “1984”which is written by George Orwell, the authors’ descriptions of places contribute to our understanding of their works and they are effective in recognizing the major themes.

  The Crucible is set in the spring of the year 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts.   In Salem, there is theocracy, which means that the church and the state are one it is ruled by God through religious officials. Because of the theocratic nature of the society, moral laws and state laws are one, and the sin and the status of an individual’s soul are matters of public concern. There is no deviation from social norms, because any slight deviation is considered not only a threat to the public good, but also to the rule of God and true religion. In Salem, everything and everyone belongs to either God or the Devil. All these     details are specifically described by the author who allows the reader to comprehend the underlying logic behind the witch trials. So the witch trials are the ultimate expression of intolerance (which is a major theme in the novel), which can be interpreted as restoring the community’s purity by eliminating the deviants. In The Crucible, this paranoiac atmosphere enables the people to express their repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges. The most concrete example is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft, because of her lust for John Proctor. She gains power rapidly over the society although the women occupy the lowest status...