Matthew's Reviews > The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
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Dec 18, 13

bookshelves: plays

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Renee Ouch, didn't know that. Well, technically all the praise he's getting he knows deep down isn't his. If I learned one thing from the great gatsby, it's that you can be successful but never truly be "great".


Mikaela This play was originally written in around the 1940s. So it would be very hard for the playwrite to steel his ideas from a movie.


Mikaela This play was originally written in around the 1940s. So it would be very difficult for the playwrite to steal his ideas from a movie.


Matthew 'Day of Wrath' came out in '43. The play went on Broadway in the early fifties.

I'm too harsh on it here. It's a well-written play. I just don't think it has much to teach about the Salem witch trials or McCarthyism, and it is used as a tool to do both in many schools.

I'm also not a fan of Arthur Miller in general. My negative reviews always get the most attention.


message 5: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn I've been looking for someone who has this viewpoint on the subject. I really like how the play itself was written as well. However, I've heard things about how Miller is "intellectually dishonest" and how the witch trials in Salem and the Red Scare don't make a good parallel. I'm looking into it, so could you explain some more for me?

Also, how does he not understand "spiritual fervor?" I've grown up in a Catholic household and Catholic school, and their level and manner of spirituality in the play seemed natural to me. Is it that the "strict" in "strict Lutheran home" makes all the difference? How would have the theocracy functioned in that time?

Also, what were the witch trials all about? We've never talked about them in a historical context. Sorry if this is a lot - I just am interested to hear what you think.


Matthew I didn't meant to imply that Lutherans contain genuine spiritual fervor and other denominations do not. I do believe Dreyer has more meaningful things to teach about religion and spirituality. Please seek out his films, 'Day of Wrath' I mention above, and 'Ordet' is a personal favorite.

The Red Scare was pretty serious, and I guess Miller made his point. So that is positive. He was definitely more concerned with paranoia and its negative influence on a community rather than the sources of this community's spirituality, or an accurate portrait of Puritan beliefs. Luckily, we have Hawthorne already if we want some vivid insight on Puritan notions. My personal beef stems from my school (and a lot of schools) using this play to sum up two moments in American history, and not going any further than that, which just seems sloppy and hysteric.


Matthew After googling a bit, I found this fascinating piece of criticism, and this writer says that contrary to popular belief, Dreyer was not raised in a strict Lutheran home! So I stand corrected! He does say this:

This film was made and premiered during the darkest days of the Nazi occupation of Denmark, when Jews were being deported. Drouzy surmises that Dreyer may have cast a blond actress as Anne to avoid charges that he was making a political allegory—though the message wasn’t lost on the Danish underground at the time, and today it clearly registers as one of the great Resistance films. Yet according to critic Tom Milne, Dreyer “always insisted that any such political overtones to the film were strictly unintentional”—meaning that Day of Wrath may be the reverse of a conscious allegory like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (almost certainly influenced by Dreyer’s film). But this only suggests that some works of art ultimately know and say more than their makers. Like one of the characters in his masterpiece, Dreyer was trapped in his obsessions, yet he remained so faithful to his art that he may have wound up saying more about his own times than most direct commentators.

here is the link: http://www.criterion.com/current/post...


message 8: by Sketchbook (last edited Feb 18, 2013 03:21AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sketchbook As theatuhh it works. As a "statement" - of any sort - it's entirely bogus.


Bobby Bermea "...should be ignored". Good luck with that.


Sketchbook Read the brilliant Robt Warshow essay on Miller and The Crucible in his collected essays, "The Immediate Experience." Warshow died, age 37, in 1955. A major loss to American letters.


Bobby Bermea Sketchbook wrote: "Read the brilliant Robt Warshow essay on Miller and The Crucible in his collected essays, "The Immediate Experience." Warshow died, age 37, in 1955. A major loss to American letters."

I certainly will.


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