The Crucible is a play from the mind of American playwright Arthur Miller. Its almost persuasive write-up depicts a partially fictional story of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693. Despite initially premiering in 1953, this play holds several vital lessons that today’s students need to learn.
About ‘The Crucible’
Arthur Miller wrote this play against a backdrop of hysteria in the United States. He drew comparisons between the Massachusetts witch trials of centuries ago and the Senate’s prosecution of communists living and working in the country. The play has since been adapted into several film titles, with the latest being in 2014.
Why should students read The Crucible? Here’s why teaching the crucible to high school students is a great idea.
Understanding the Impact of Hysteria
Arthur Miller’sThe Crucible’ features multiple life lessons that are still relevant today. If you haven’t read this book and want to check out these lessons, you can find free examples of ‘The Crucible’ argumentative or persuasive essays at https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-crucible/. One of such lessons is the impact of hysteria on society.
Today’s society exhibits a similar hysteria to the two civilizations associated with the play. The first being the era of the Salem witch trials and the period Miller wrote his play. Teaching The Crucible to high school students can help them grasp the concept behind mass panics.
People resort to blaming anyone or searching for quick answers to problems, as hysteria and fear of the unknown grip the most rational of persons. This scenario is a repeating circle of history, and the play offers students the opportunity to examine it through modern lenses.
An Immersive Play
Are you a teacher looking for an immersive play to engage and motivate your students? Then consider adding ‘The Crucible’ to your reading class. It’s an emotional roller coaster with the trials providing captivating and alluring drama scenes. You can have students offer ideas about the reasons behind a character’s decisions and their impact on the overall plot.
Modern children are fascinated with witches’ concepts, and witchcraft is a core genre of the crucible. They show great enthusiasm in various genre elements such as movies, Halloween celebrations, and more. Despite not having true or real witches in its pages, the book does have characters who believe the concept of witchcraft, making for an exciting read.
The concept of Metaphor and Allegory
Miller employs various literary tools in his play, two of which are metaphor and allegory. He draws the reader’s attention to the injustice in his society, using the Salem witch trials as a reference. College students will benefit from learning and discussing literature as a tool to bring specific topics or issues to light.
Benefits and Limitations of Drama
Drama, just like any other form of literature, has its limitations and benefits. Examining the elements in Arthur Miller’sThe Crucible’ can help them understand this concept. Teachers can also achieve the same effect by having their students try their hands at writing drama papers themselves. They could take on creating dialogue outlines, characters, sets, or the entire story.
An Understanding of Hysteria
Teaching this play in college can help students understand hysteria, its elements and avoid its influence. The Salem witch’s depiction in Miller’s play shows the kick-off of the mass panic, the aspects that stretched it for two years, and how average citizens drowned in it. Analyzing these aspects of ‘The Crucible’ can help students guard against becoming victims or the perpetrators behind mass hysteria.
Have an Idea of Puritan American Values
Reading this play can help students understand Puritan American values and their views of the world. A unit on ‘The Crucible’ and other similar materials can help paint a vivid picture of the era’s culture. Literature pieces that supplement Muller’s concept include Margaret Atwood’s poem, Cotton Mathers story, and much contemporary non-fiction writing about the events that transpired in Salem during the witch trials.
Pay More Attention to Detail
Teaching and discussing this piece of literature in lessons can help improve a student’s attention to detail. They understand how little elements such as word choice or figurative language can impact the overall plot.
Arthur Miller’sThe Crucible’ is an exciting and immersive play that students would benefit from learning about in class. It explores an extensive range of literary elements that can help students understand their usage and imitate them in their write-ups. The book is a window into the Puritan American society, helps you know the secrets behind the hysteria, and more.
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