Thursday, July 18, 2019

American Society of the 1950’s Essay

He is attacking the American society for not doing it earlier, as Hale is only shown to realise what is happening when it is too late. Miller’s slow build up of tension throughout the scene emphasises the emotional trauma suffered by the victims of both Salem and McCarthy. Abigail’s dramatic entry, right at the climax of the scene, has a negative effect on the audience, as they already have an idea of how evil she is, and the extent to which she will go to get what she wants. She manipulates the mind of Danforth, who she is able to overpower, making him very uneasy at times, and shows him to be â€Å"weakening†, he asks questions â€Å"apprehensively†, and at times is â€Å"dumbfounded†. This is because Abigail is the only way he can prove that he is in the right, and that years of studies have not gone to waste. By making Danforth’s character so weak, Miller is condemning the fact that McCarthy is a weak man who has a closed mind over the things he says and does. The language throughout the whole scene is very extreme, ‘Whore’, for an extreme, negative effect on the audience. Mary is shown to be ‘pleading’ with Abigail and this shows the extent o fear in the people of Salem and in America in the 1950s. Mary Warren is unable to faint when asked to, and this immediately creates tension in the audience, as they, most probably, would want her to faint in order to save Proctor and Elizabeth. Her inability to faint only strengthens Abigail’s case, and this would only strengthen what Danforth stands for. She then changes her confession to saying that she did deal with the devil, â€Å"My name, he want my name†, and goes against Proctor. Miller is showing us here how people would lie to save their own lives, and kill those who have been most helpful to them, and this criticises the American society, where people would lie in order to save their own lives. This scene would anger the audience, and make them feel hatred towards Mary, Abigail and especially Danforth, who will now definitely sign the death warrant for Elizabeth. Again, by making the hero of the play suffer Miller is expressing his hatred towards McCarthy and the people who followed him. When Abigail feels threatened, she and the other girls pretend to be attacked by the devil, in the shape of a yellow bird. Abigail tells the bird that ‘envy is a deadly sin†, and then accuses Mary of being the bird. This is ironic as Abigail is most envious of Elizabeth, and this is the only reason why the court cases have come this far. The faked attacks grow anger in the audience, as everyone knows that they are pretending, and yet the people still believe them. Miller is portraying the American society of the 1950’s as ignorant and stupid, who will believe anything the court and McCarthy believe. John Proctor is shown to be a very Christ-like figure throughout the play. In the movie version, Proctor is shown to be in water when he chases Mary Warren after she has run out of court. When everyone is against him, he stands alone in the water, almost as if he is being baptised. By showing us this, Miller is hinting at the fact that only the people who told the truth were the real ‘gods’; as Jesus Christ is believed to be in Christianity, and the others were just liars, who sacrificed their friends, or in Salem’s case, their enemies, in order to save themselves. Proctor’s confession to committing lechery, in an attempt to save his wife, is a much tensed scene. The dramatic irony of Elizabeth not knowing he has confessed, and the ‘natural lie’ she tells in order to save her husband’s name, all create suspense in the audience, as they know that the Proctor’s are innocent, and yet because of the injustice of the court, one of them, if not both, will die. Miller is again criticising McCarthy and his laws, as the innocent are dying and the guilty live. Proctor’s damning lines at the end of the play suggest that there were some good people in Salem and in America during the 1950’s-people who would give their lives for their loved ones. In the movie, Proctor is shown to be reciting the God’s Prayer just before being hanged, and it was believed that witches were not able to recite the God’s Prayer. By showing him do this, Miller is showing everyone how blatant it was that the innocent were dying, and he criticises the citizens of Salem for not realising this, in other words, he is criticising the American society. This has a negative effect on the audience, as they appreciate the injustice of McCarthy, and how the people were not doing anything to save anyone. The Crucible on a whole is a single issue play. The main plot evolves around the main characters of the play, and the other characters seem to be props to fill in the missing spaces. It is for this reason that the play lacks subtlety in both the plot and the characters, and why John Proctor is made to be the main character of the play, the only believable character that we can identify with. Having considered the dramatic nature of this scene, I believe that it criticises McCarthyism and is an attack on the American society of the 1950’s. Miller does this by repeatedly showing the Salem citizens as ignorant and unintelligent. He attacks Danforth time and time again, showing him to be weak, and yet he is able to have power over the people, only because of the fact that he has higher authority then they have. The innocent characters are the ones who are killed, and the guilty characters are the ones who get away with their crimes. This highlights the very point that during 1950’s America, there was no justice whatsoever, and the only people who ruled were those who were able to put fear into the hearts of others. Naaila Haq English Coursework 10g1 – 1 – Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

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