The Crucible

The Crucible

A Play in Four Acts

Book - 1954
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A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community

The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft--and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.

First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can.

"A drama of emotional power and impact" -- New York Post
Publisher: New York, Viking Press, 1954
ISBN: 9780140481389
Branch Call Number: 812.5 MIL 1954
Characteristics: 145 pages 21 cm

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jan 17, 2019

The Crucible describes the deadliest witch-hunt in the United States in the 1690s. It is a fine and smart implication of Miller for the Communist witch hunt due to McCarthyism which also took place in the United States but in the 1950s. The play forms its context in a patriarchal society. Therefore, the portrayal of women in The Crucible is vulnerable and powerless as they are no one without a man’s protection as well as submissive to the male, except for Abigail-the only powerful and respected girl in the play. From the play, it is a flashback that the society back in the 1690s was oppressively patriarchal and aggressively undervalued the women’s rights. 3/5 Stars. @nostalgirl of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

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LaNomada01
Jan 12, 2019

At its core, this is just a play on the lies and betrayal during the Salem Witch Trials. Beyond that though, to me, it's really a play about the dangers of hysteria and following the crowd. Innocent people can get hurt along the way - because of false accusations.

k
Katpartika
Nov 16, 2018

goody proctor is this girl from Michigan who moved back to poland and lives with these people who are related to these people from poland seminary high school in htere basement

i
Ireneread17
May 23, 2018

Super good book. Shows how superstitious people can get.

c
CarleeMcDot
Feb 13, 2018

In spite of the fact that I would love to say I originally picked up this book because Arthur is an alum from the University of Michigan, I actually grabbed it because it was mentioned in Molly's Game (which the hubby and I saw earlier in the month). I thought this was a great book (although it was actually written in the format of a play with four acts). I have very little knowledge about the Salem witch trials (or at least I have forgotten everything I once may have learned), so this was all very interesting to me. Such a dark time in American history. This play was based on historical events and real people, even if some of the details have been changed (Abigail was made older and Proctor was made younger, etc). No matter the changes, it still leaves you shaking your head. Not only was the story itself outrageous, but the parallels between this and the communist hysteria in the 50s or even the Holocaust are uncanny. When you read this as an observer, you can't imagine how people would allow this atrocity to occur, but then we look around today and see that when evil people get access to power the same thing happens. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

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.

c
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.

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Quotes

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Alanreviews
Mar 23, 2018

God damns all liars

n
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.”

l
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!”

Age Suitability

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a
Alanreviews
Mar 23, 2018

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

c
csrestall
Nov 18, 2016

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

n
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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