The Salem Witchcraft Trials and "The Crucible" Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

The Salem Witchcraft Trials and "The Crucible"
A review of how Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" sheds light on the motivations for the Salem witchcraft trials.
# 36481 | 1,650 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 09, 2003 in Drama and Theater (American) , Literature (American)

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This paper examines the work "The Crucible" and then attempts to understand the intricacies of the Salem witchcraft trials. The paper shows how Miller explores the hidden agendas of the Witchcraft trials and addresses the strict Puritan society, the grudges the societal members had against each other and the affair Abigail had with Proctor. The paper looks at other research on the motivations behind these trials and finds that these trials were a revolution against the progress of women and a manifestation created to subjugate the women back to their subordinate position in society.

From the Paper:

"To state that the theory presented by Arthur Miller in The Crucible is the basis of the Salem Witchcraft trials is in fact an undermining of the truth. Though Miller may have stated the truth when he claimed that Abigail's' spurned love was responsible for starting the chain of events that caused the deaths of tens of women and men---to accept that as the sole reason would be oversimplifying the matter. As a research topic witchcraft continues to play a role that it has had for nearly three decades that of stretching our theoretical resources to the limits and challenging us to experiment with different explanatory frameworks. There was a time when no discussion of the problem of rationality was complete without its witches. Today, the issues raised are to do with the primacy of language, the irreducibility of experience, and the preferentiality of texts. But although the focus has switched from the philosophy of the social sciences to cultural history and literary criticism, witchcraft studies have invariably had a bold agenda."

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