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The Crucible is about the Salem witch hunts which happened in the small Massachusetts village in the year 1692 A group of girls were discovered dancing in the woods when one of them fell ill the deeply religious residents of Salem began to suspect that the sickness was caused by witchcraft This led to wild accusations of compact with the Devil and as a result many people were in jail Soon there was a sense of hysteria in the village as accusations could be based on almost anything This was fuelled on by jealousy and old grudges A crucible is a scientific tool used for melting and purifying elements The title The Crucible symbolizes the theme of the play which is catching and purifying the alleged witches and melting down and purifying peoples emotions The Salem society is a puritan one Puritans are strict Christians who believe that the bible tells them witches must be hanged to be purified and that the devil compacted with witches to overthrow the society They believe that any pleasure is sinful such as singing and dancing Children were forced to behave like adults which meant they were repressed and when they showed any emotions it was extreme The puritans had just immigrated to America at the time and much of the land was unknown and feared The only way of safeguarding against evil was to have strict laws and conformity Any unexplained behavior in someone was said to be the devil in that person During the Salem witch hunts many people used witchcraft to get revenge Arthur Miller was an American writer in the 1940s and 50s He wrote The Crucible in 1953 in the middle of the McCarthy political witch hunt in America After the Second World War everyone was scared of communism spreading to America and destroying capitalism and the American way of life Just as in Salem there was fear of witchcraft
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