The Crucible

The Crucible

A Play in Four Acts

Book - 2003
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A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community

"I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history," Arthur Miller wrote in an introduction to The Crucible , his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller's drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria.

In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence.

Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing: "Political opposition...is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Group, 2003
ISBN: 9780142437339
0142437336
Branch Call Number: 812.52 Mille 3558ad 1
Characteristics: xxv, 143 p. --

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From Library Staff

List - Your mortal foe: MEDEA
SPL_Robyn May 16, 2017

Abigail Williams, "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller: Abigail is a jealous and vengeful, power-hungry liar and manipulator. She eventually sends 19 innocent people including her lover John Proctor to their deaths by accusing them of witchcraft during the Salem witch-hunt of 1692. - 10 Evil... Read More »


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a
AMerr22
Oct 24, 2017

Short book, good story. My main problem with it is all the characters. It is hard to keep track of who is who sometimes in the book, but eventually you catch on. It gets slow at times, but is still a decent book/play.

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csrestall
Nov 18, 2016

The idea of this play is interesting, as well as the lore surrounding the Salem Trials; however I did not enjoy this book in high school and I did not enjoy it now. The language is difficult and there are lots of characters. I re read this book for a couple of my students to refresh my memory, and I am remembering why it was so difficult. It deals with heavy subject matter, yet still manages to be a dry read.

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Nymeria23
Jul 08, 2014

This book was pretty short, but it still took me a while to read it. With the book written as a play, the author had to pause in some of the scenes to clarify and explain some new characters as they were introduced, and it threw off the flow of the reading for me. I got invested though, and found myself getting white-hot frustrated about the lying, deceiving, mendacious accusers and felt sorrowful when a truthful character was wrongfully punished and condemned.

g
gcwakim
Jun 26, 2014

Beautiful story yet chocking and sad.

l
litoxpinky
Sep 22, 2011

If you're looking for a story where society is crazed and oppresses in the name of the 'good', and the sense of 'freedom fighters' who themselves aren't morally perfect, MILLER IS YOUR MAN! <3

The language is a bit difficult to get used to, but his characters, their relationships, complexities, and struggles are wonderfully put in this setting.

a
alexy93
Sep 03, 2010

In the Crucible, Arthur Miller illustrates just how much superstition can reign over reason and common sense. Superstition, and the mass hysteria it created in the town of Salem, was largely caused by the people’s extreme devotion to religion.
It is sad & frightening that similar events still occur today. Modern examples are such as the execution of children & juveniles some nations who are caught or suspected of homosexual activity – an act against religious principles.

google: "execution of children & juveniles"

p
pie
Jul 03, 2008

A classic tale of "do you trust your friends?" Superstition and witch hunts haunt the small town of Salem, breaking out hysteria within the time. An interesting play!

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Nymeria23
Jul 08, 2014

“Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. "More weight," he says. And died.”

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litoxpinky
Sep 22, 2011

"Because it is my name! Because I can not have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!"

l
litoxpinky
Sep 22, 2011

“ …What profit him to bleed? Shall the dust praise him? Shall the worms declare his truth? Go to him, take his shame away!”

“…He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!”

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csrestall
Nov 18, 2016

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Nymeria23
Jul 08, 2014

Nymeria23 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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csrestall
Nov 18, 2016

Religious fervor meets conniving women, causes the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail schemes with the other girls to accuse other women of the town of being witches. In reality Abigail wishes to dispose of the wife of her lover. Many of the other women accusers have different motives. Those accused are ether hung or jailed, after no one is able to dissuade the judge of their guilt.

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