The Crucible (Penguin Classics)

The Crucible (Penguin Classics)

Set during the Salem witchcraft trials, this play is most famous for its metaphor for McCarthyism--in fact, three years after the play was produced, Miller himself was called before HUAC. In the play, Miller used colonial language to near-poetic effect; the plot involves characters who have to make certain moral choices concerning their communities and their friends. Miller explores the handy scapegoat that an accusation of witchcraft can be: a father can dismiss his daughter's behavior, a landowner can acquire still more land, a serving girl can attract attention to herself, and emotions can be displaced onto other people. Miller fully explores the power of an accusing figure.
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