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Arthur Miller’s Motivations

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The Crucible over 40 years after he created It, he wrote In an English newspaper that at that time he wanted the opportunity to write an aggressive play. HIS Intention was to bring this slow moving process to light, which shows that massive social pressure and terror can rob people of their conscience and later their personality. He wrote it under the influence of hysteria fuelled by the House on UN-American Activities. In 1947, that Committee held hearings for nine days. Into alleged communist propaganda and influence in the Hollywood motion picture industry.

After conviction on contempt of Congress charges for refusal to answer committee questions the so called “Hollywood Ten” were blacklisted by the industry which meant the end of their careers. More than 300 artists were boycotted by the studios and had massive trouble to find work in America or felt forced to move away for instance to Great Britain. Some of the accused were friends and colleagues of Arthur Miller. A big Impact on him left the case of his close friend Ella Khan In 1952.

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After first refusing to cooperate with the committee he gave names of members of the Communist Party. That was an act, which marked him for the rest of his life for instance when he was loudly criticized when receiving an Oscar for his life achievements In 2000 Arthur Miller wrote in the Guardian about that time: “My basic need was to respond to a phenomenon which, with only small exaggeration, one could say paralyses a whole generation and in short time dried up the habits of trust and toleration In the public discourse. And he added: “One would hope that a work of art might Illuminate the tragic absurdities of an anterior work of art that was called reality, but was not. It was the very swiftness of the change that led Into surreally. “On a lucky afternoon” as Miller called It, he read “The Devil In Massachusetts: A Modern Inquiry into the Salem Witch Trials” by Marion Starkey. It was a narrative of the Salem witch-hunt of 1692. Knowing the story already from his college time “in this darkened America it turned a complete new aspect towards me”.

He saw the parallels of both times and wanted to use them as an “Artist’s answer to Politics”. Studying the original records of the 1692 outbreak and staying in Salem for a while he developed the idea for his play: “Turning to Salem was Like looking Into a petrel dish, an embalmed stasis with Its ironical moving forces caught In stillness. One had to wonder what the human Imagination fed on that could Inspire neighbors and old friends to emerge overnight as furies secretly bent on the torture and destruction of Christians.

More than a than a year, became the awesome evidence of the power of human imagination inflamed, the poetry of suggestion, and the tragedy of heroic resistance to a society possessed to the point of ruin” One of the main characters in Miller’s play is farmer John Proctor. When Miller came to Salem he read about the real John Proctor. His fate was the start point for Miller’s lay. John Proctor, the “sinner” overturned “his paralyzing personal guilt and become the most forthright voice against the madness around him. That demonstrated to Miller “that a clear moral outcry could still spring even from an ambiguously unblemished soul. ” The play “began to accumulate around this man. ” Miller did have to change a few aspects of John Proctor. He actually was not only a farmer but also a tavern keeper. Miller probably changed it to Just farmer because in most stories and in what most peoples view a farmer is very down to earth, self reliant, honest and straightforward and hard working. Which is what Miller wanted us to think of his John Proctor.

He changed also his age and more important the age of Abigail to fit the real person into his intentions as it would be very hard for us to sympathize with a sixty year old man who commits lechery with an 11 or 12 year old John Proctor part in the play is to give the play its dramatic tension in order to be more than Just a documentary about the Salem witch trials. Not only is he the main character. The one who fights the authority in order to save his friends. But without him there wouldn’t be a story. Abigail may have started it. But she never would have acted like that if it weren’t for Proctor. L never knew what pretence Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! ” Before her affair with Proctor she would probably never do something like that. In act four Rebecca Nurse tells Proctor that “Another Judgment waits us all! ” If this is true and the only one really fit to Judge you is God than why did Proctor not Just lie? After all god knows everything and would know that Proctor lied in order to stay and provide for his children. Dieing then would probably get him into Hell.

He ploughed on Sundays, didn’t Baptist one of his children, committed lechery and didn’t confess even when he could have saved his friends. He’d have had a much bigger chance if he Just signed his name and became completely Christian all his remaining life. John Proctor gives the play a story and the audience somebody to identify with as he is not perfect but still tries to change things for the better. Miller wanted us aware of this potential in all of us. When he eventually had to appear for being questioned by the committee he acted different from his friend Khan refused information.

Cite this Arthur Miller’s Motivations

Arthur Miller’s Motivations. (2018, Feb 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/arthur-millers-motivations/

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