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Pennee Eagatatt

November 22, 2000

English III

The Interesting Facts of The Crucible

Was The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, just an “irrational fear?” (Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: Fact & Fiction Par.1). The panic of Communism during the Cold War and Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist hearings on February 3, 1953 led to this “irrational fear.” There are several major differences from the true version of the story and Miller’s version. These differences could have made the whole event much more interesting and eerie. Many specific details were overlooked that could have changed the play around. For example, Parris’ wife was not dead. In Miller’s play he refers to the group of girls as Abigail’s girls, but there were many other girls that were included in the group of the “afflicted”. Another difference that could have reconstructed how the play was is Abigail’s age. Because Miller used different context from the event, the true facts of history could have made the play much more interesting.

In Miller’s play, Reverend Parris says “…my daughter…” (1.7). Reverend Parris mentioned he has a daughter and he is a widower. However, “Betty Parris’ mother was not dead, but very much alive at the time” (The Crucible: Fact & Fiction Para.5). Betty Parris’ mother really died 4 years after the events had taken place. This fact could have changed the total out-come of Miller’s play. If Betty had a mother figure, perhaps she would not have been lured into Abigail’s malicious ways. Since Abigail and Betty are cousins, Betty’s mother could have played as a mother figure for Abigail. Abigail would not have been such a troublemaker if she had a role model. This fact could have changed how Miller’s play was put together, and it could have made the play more interesting.

In The Crucible, Miller mentioned that Abigail and her followers were just a bunch of teenage girls. In reality, Abigail’s group did not just consisted of teenage girls. Abigail’s afflicted group not only consists of teenage girls, but it consists of men and women. Some of the people from Abigail’s “afflicted” group are Sarah Bibber, John Indian, and Ann Putnam. The “afflicted” group could have consisted of many more people, and they could have had a bigger, stronger effect on the whole hype. Since both men and women were in the “afflicted” group and their age could have brought out more authority than a bunch of teenage girls, this conclusion would have made Miller’s play or completely different and controversial.

Abigail could have made Miller’s play much more interesting and eerie. In Miller’s play, Abigail is a mature young woman of seventeen who is capable of seduction. In the real story, Abigail is only eleven years old. Because Abigail had an affair with Proctor, the huge age difference certainly would have made Miller’s play more interesting. Even though Abigail was eleven years of age, she was still capable of convincing the whole town and the “afflicted” group to believe her accusations. For example, Abigail starts yelling “I saw Goody Booth with the Devil!” (1.46). A little girl running around town making people believe her accusations is amazing and awkward. This awkwardness would have made Miller’s play more strikingly eerie.

Interesting, true facts of an actual event may make any literature work more exciting and interesting. Important facts can change a whole scene around making it better or worse. Abigail made the whole town mad spread the “irrational fear” of witchcraft. Telling the whole truth would have saved hundreds of people’s lives. Whether it is using true facts or having honesty in an individual, this proves that the truth always prevails. Basically, the factual content within a text can fluctuate the whole meaning of The Crucible. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a very exciting and intriguing play to follow; however the true history of witchcraft is far more complex and interestingly dramatic.

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