Monday, June 4, 2012

Classics #3: The Crucible - Arthur Miller

The great thing about classic books is that they come in all shapes and sizes. No one would dispute the face that William Shakespeare's works are classics yest mostly they are plays and poems. Embracing the the diversity that comes with reading classics and opted for a play as my third book in this challenge.

In 1692 in a small Massachusetts village was plagued by witchcraft hysteria. This incident would go on to be remembered long after those involved were dead and gone and the village of Salem Massachusetts changed beyond what the victims would recognize. In this short play Arthur Miller takes a look at the hysteria that consumed Salem Village and follows the lives of some of the major people involved.

First I want to state that from when I first heard about it I have be absolutely fascinated by the Salem  Witch Trials. It was my favorite part of history class and my favorite destination on my eighth grade class trip. Reading this was enjoyable and interesting. Aside from getting to read about one of my favorite topics I also got the challenge of reading a play. Plays are a little more difficult to read only because they are meant to be seen visually and not necessarily read. Thankfully I have an active imagination which helps me to see the play staged out in my head without the aid of actors. Another interesting thing about reading this particular play an knowing when it was written is seeing the correlation in the topic chosen and the politics of the time. You draw a line of parallel between the hysteria of the witch trials in 1692 and the McCarthyism that was plaguing our nation in the 1950's. "The Crucible" was  a powerful piece bringing to life a dark period in American History giving it's perpetrators and victims a face and a voice.

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