Book Review: The Crucible

Miller, Arthur
4 stars = Really Good

Hysteria, spreading throughout Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century. Teenage girls, being accused of witchcraft for dancing in the woods. A puppet with a needle that can cost someone’s life. Agreeing on execution in order to protect the good name for your family. Mass trials on people being suspected of doing magic. Sounds crazy? Welcome to the world of The Crucible.
The play by Arthur Miller takes us to Salem in a period of witch trials. Everything starts pretty prosaic: a girl named Abigail wants to get love from a local farmer, John Proctor. As it often happens, she finds a love potion the easiest way to reach the desirable goal, however, she, her friends and the family slave Tituba get caught on doing this ritual late at night.
Nobody wants to be punished. Nobody will believe a slave over his own daughter or niece. Considering these two statements, Abigail decides to avoid a punishment by accusing Tituba and the entire list of other women in a town of being witches.
And here is when things start to go heels overhead. Like a huge snowball that captures everything that is on its way, panic enhances more and more people around. Men and women are being executed for no true reason. Even an expert in demonology is invited to take part in the case. And in all this chaos Abigail makes another attempt to get a chance for a future together with John Proctor.
The action develops dynamically in the play, and the characters add more tension to the plot with their bright personalities. You can’t stay indifferent. You either love or, more likely, hate them. A lot of situation are ironic and absurd, however, the play tastes bitter, when you realize how many people had to struggle because of someone’s stupid wish and lack of responsibility.
The book refers a lot to the time of McCarthyism, which had impacted the author’s life in particular. It makes a strong impact on the audience, especially, in the end, and leaves the readers with a lot of questions: Do people change? Is reputation worth sacrificing your life? Whom to believe and what to deny?
Reviewer Grade: 11

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