The Crucible: The Reality Of Society In 21st Century

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The Crucible is a play written in a time when fear for a communistic takeover was in the air. Written by Arthur Miller in 1953 was a performance about hysteria, fear, and intolerance which were all at play during the time of writing the show and were a major inspiration and contributing factor to Miller when he was writing the play. He directly poses these effects when writing the play, the mass fear of witchcraft that had consumed people leading to 19 hangings and one crushing because of mass hysteria. Another factor that could have led to the state of Salem’s chaos was Rye induced Ergotism which causes severe convulsions, muscle spasms, delusions and the sensation of crawling under the skin. Although people are not calling people out for witchcraft today there are fake news and false convictions are a very real reality.

In this era of media manipulation and ‘fake news’ The Crucible has never been more relevant. ‘Fake news’ is just as real as it was in Massachusetts in 1692-93. Combined with the ease of access to the internet has allowed ‘fake news’ to become easily widespread and it is much easier to become a victim to it. The crucible is a story of a girl trying to cover up her actions by playing the victim. The series of events started because of the lust of Abigail Williams toward John Proctor. This lust lead to the mass hanging of 19 innocents in the town of Salem and ruined the life of Abigail. Fake news can have devastating results but the effects of the offender when exposed can be much more severe; as seen in the aftermath of the witch trials.

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At the time of writing The Crucible Arthur Miller faced accusations of Communist party affiliation and an overreaction in the era of McCarthyism and fear of the communist party take over. This led to a major overreaction due to fears of the destruction of the capitalistic USA and in the backlash, more damage was caused to people’s lives than the communist threat. This reflects greatly in the Crucible, which is a story of a group of girls, Abigail Williams in particular, who would have been killed for the crimes that they had committed. This fear lead to their over exaggeration of the scenario ultimately leading to the death of many others and the destruction of society.

Arthur Miller was fighting his own demons and issues, he was facing a crucible of his own per se, holding back from giving the House Un-American Activities Committee. The play was a response to the committee ruling at the time he was already writing a play called the conversation of men. After recent events including the committee and longtime friend Elias Kazan, he was to drop the play and start witting The Crucible a story that is still relevant today. The show holds multiple morals and themes and emotions. The guilt john carries, and reverend hales regret for devastating involvement in Salem they both try to make up for their sin’s john wishes to gain his wife’s forgiveness, hale trying to save John, and Abigail’s fear of punishment for her actions. In our 21st century world, we have surrounded social media and the reputation that others have of us, this reputation is the sort that brought Salem to ruin the same reputation goals that fuel fake news and the willingness to fall for it. We all try to protect our reputations by hiding our fears, unlike Arthur who turned those issues into a story that would keep relevance for longer than a lifetime.

The Crucible will always be relevant in the 21st century and its impact on its audience. The crucible will always be relevant no matter who you are. The Crucible goes through emotional struggles despairs and personal failings that test the characters allowing the reader to interact with and relate to seeing their society in a new light and affects the way the reader sees he or she’s the world around them. The play has been relevant to a political standpoint since its writing, and with today’s social age it has found its way into the age of media manipulation and fake news has made the screen write more relevant and needed than ever. 


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