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Word Count: 345
Arthur Millers The Crucible and Cotton Mathers Wonders of the Invisible World both involve the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 However the two pieces are very different Miller focuses on the emotional tragedies and chaos that resulted from the Salem witch trials and compares the trials to the House Un-American Activities Committee whereas Mather uses objective court proceedings to inform and entertain his readers The tone and style of these two pieces contrast dramatically The Crucible is critical of the witch trials and indirectly the HUAC because of their poor logic and the resulting panic Mather on the other hand begins his work by saying that he supports the trials and considers them necessary The tone of the plays dialogue which reflects the characters emotions is passionately upset and sad Conversely the tone of the main part of Wonders of the Invisible World is objective and unbiased Mather simply records testimony without adding any opinion or emotion The difference in intended audience and meaning accounts for these contrasting tones and styles Miller wrote The Crucible to compare the HUAC part of his audiences lives to one of the pasts great errors He wanted to send his 1950s audience the message that the HUAC was as illogical and harmful as the Salem witch trials were Mathers goal was entirely different he wanted to entertain readers from the late 17th century by telling them what happened during one of the trials He wrote so that his readers would know exactly what went on in the courtroom because he knew thats what they wanted to read He wrote what the people wanted to read while Miller wrote what he wanted the people to hear By telling a story about the witch trials Miller exposed the ignorance that led up to them and the extensive damage they caused Doing this put the HUAC in a new light for his audience Inversely Mather was hardly more than a court
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