The Parallels Between Arthur Miller's Life and His Play, The Crucible

1486 Words 6 Pages
Few people are willing to stand up to the overwhelming power of authority, especially during a time like the Red scare. Hardly any authors are able to recognize meaningful similarities between the present times and an event that happened many years ago—and write about it effectively. Only one has had the courage and intelligence to do both. Arthur Miller was an American author who wrote plays, essays, and stories and has published works dating from to 1936 through 2004. The Crucible, one of his most famous plays, premiered in New York on January 22, 1953 (InfoTrac). It is a historical-fiction story set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The witch hunt described in this play is similar to the Red Scare, an anti-communist movement led by …show more content…
When Miller came across Proctor in his studies of Salem, it became evident that the two had much in common. For example, they both had unstable relationships with their three wives (InfoTrac/ Without Sin). “Moving crabwise across the profusion of evidence,” Miller says in his article Why I Wrote The Crucible, “I sensed that I had at last found something of myself in it, and a play began to accumulate around this man.” Miller, Proctor, and Giles Corey, another important role in The Crucible, are similar in that they all admitted to their “crimes,” but refused to blame others. Miller was expelled from a script-writing project in New York because he had communist relations. He was questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee, or the HUAC, about his political beliefs. Miller admitted that he had attended a few informal Communist Party meetings a long time ago, but when the HUAC asked him who else had participated in the meetings, Miller refused to give names. He was charged, tried, and convicted of with contempt of Congress in 1957 (InfoTrac). Although an appeal overturned this conviction a year later, these events show that Miller was willing to stand up for what he believed was right. In The Crucible, Proctor and Corey have the same trait.
When Proctor confessed to witchcraft to save his own life, he did not name others whom he had seen with the devil. Earlier in the play, Ruth Putnam accused George Jacobs of witchcraft. Corey claimed he