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Book Reviews

The Crucible (1953) - Shreya Sachdev

The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692/93. Arthur Miller does a great job at conveying many different themes throughout the play such as reputation, power, and paranoia. His intensive use of stage directions is a symbol of how controlled the society of Salem was at this time considering the witch trials. The stage directions also aid readers to understand the emotions and thoughts of characters as well as their inner feelings. After reading about Arthur Miller’s backstory, I came to appreciate this play even more, because I began to understand the way in which Arthur received inspiration to write this play. Arthur Miller saw how paranoid Americans began with regard to communism, and how many innocent people were executed as officials believed that they were practicing communism. I also think that Arthur Miller has an interesting way of portraying women, as many women are portrayed as strong and courageous, but weak and frail as well. I also think the transformation of characters is clearly evident as the play goes on, and the audience begins to understand the characters better through their word choice and diction. The Crucible is a well written play, and deserves a 7.5/10.

Shreya Sachdev