Essay on The Universal Theme of The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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[1] Why after all this time did Arthur Miller allow his play, The Crucible, to be converted to film? For decades, he refused to allow a film version because he thought movies were subordinate to the written word. Finally in the early 1990’s, he not only permitted the film version but also supported it by writing the screenplay. To answer this question we should first find out his reasons for writing the original play. Miller wrote the original play, The Crucible, in the 1950’s, which was during the McCarthy Era, when people were afraid of being condemned by Senator Joseph McCarthy and his party for being supposedly associated with the communist party. Miller wrote the play in relation to the times. He used the Salem witch …show more content…
[3] A situation similar to the hysteria of the Salem witch trials is recreating itself once again. Witch-hunts are believed to be a thing of the past, something that would never come up in the 20th Century, but witch-hunts are alive and well today. “In the minds of many Americans, evil is embodied by practitioners of satanic sexual abuse. Rumors of ritual rape, incest, and murder are spreading, not just among unstable private individuals but also among apparently sane therapists, social workers, and police officers. These latter are people in a position to take action against those they believe to be guilty, and they have taken such action. Yet FBI has investigated hundreds of satanic sexual abuse claims without ever finding a single piece of evidence” (Hill, xv).

[4] A good example of this paranoia is the 1980’s McMartin Trials, where seven teachers from the McMartin Pre-School were accused of satanic sexual abuse. The McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach, California, was owned by Peggy Buckey and her mother. On August 12, 1983, Judy Johnson accused Peggy Buckey’s son, Ray, who helped out at the school, of sexually molesting her son. There was no evidence, but Ray was immediately arrested and then released. The Chief of Police sent out letters to 200 parents of present and past McMartin students warning them about Ray. The letter actually said that Ray might

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