Death Of Salesman And Crucible

Arthur Miller, winner of many literary and dramatic awards, is an incredibly
influential force in American drama. His plays deal with issues common to every
society. He makes the audience face fault, weakness, and ignorance; subjects we
would typical hide from. At the same time he emphasizes strength, human spirit,
and familial love. Alice Griffin believes that Miller\'s plays are important
internationally (xii). He belongs to an international theater rather than a
regional theater (Heilman 170). His plays are staged and studied by students to
understand American life in Russia, P and, Iceland, Brazil, Italy, France,

Germany, Czech Republic, and China to name a few (Griffin xi). Miller\'s works
thrived in England. The University of East Angelia named it\'s center the Arthur

Miller Centre (Griffin 1). They can relate to the sense f identity, honor,
recognition, and familial love (Griffin Preface). In a production in Beijing,

Miller explained to a Chinese actor playing Biff the son\'s feelings of guilt and
"painfully requited" love for his father, the actor understood as it
is v y Chinese (Morath 79). The phenomenon of Death of a Salesman has been the
same all over the world. Audiences all have a sense of their life story of their
father, uncle, or brother (Griffin 35). In real life Miller had an Uncle Manny
who had two sons ho were in competition with Miller and his brother. Manny ended
his own life because he failed at business. Miller\'s personal history is
demonstrated in his sensitive and passionate writing in Death of a Salesman
(Griffin 41). The Crucible (1952) was originally intended to be called Those

Familiar Spirits, referring to a spirit that a witch presumably sends out to
torment her victims. However, the well area at the bottom of a blast furnace is
known as the crucible, it is whe the molten steels collects being entirely
broken down due to immense heat. Miller thought that this was a precise metaphor
for what happened in Salem. Crucible also means a harsh trial or examination.

John Proctor\'s integrity was surely investigated. He chose to die instead of
confessing to being evil. According to Raymond Williams, The Crucible is a
powerfully successful dramatization of the notorious witch trials of Salem. It
is technically less interesting than its previous ones because it is b ed on a
historical event which is explicit enough to solve, the difficult dramatic
problems which Miller had originally set himself. Miller brilliantly expresses a
particular crisis "the modern witch hunt" in his own society, but it
is not often, in ou own world, that the issues and statements so clearly emerge
in a naturally dramatic form (13). Miller used the Salem Witch Trials of the

17th century, to make an indirect, but assertive comment upon McCarthyism in

American life (Richard Watt, Jr. 536). In 1953, when the play was produced, the

United States was in social and political turmoil. Joseph McCarthy a Senator
from Wisconsin and the play in comparison were both significantly politically
infamous. The Senator was responsible for the investiga ons to find communists
in the State Department, Hollywood, and the U.S. Army. These investigations
created fear and suspicion within our society. McCarthy was eventually found
guilty of misusing his authority (Watts vii). Before being found guilty S ator

McCarthy accused the Democratic administration of sheltering and helping

Communists in the American government. It was a fearful time similar to that in

Salem. The United States government called McCarthy\'s activities witch-hunts. In

The Crucibl Miller mentions that McCarthy accuses individuals of being Communist
if they opposed him. Any government official who criticized his hearings was
soon found to be defending himself against the charge of being involved in a

Communist conspiracy. Miller mpared McCarthy to the Salem judges in a broad
sense (Cliffnotes 52). In 1953 The Crucible was attacked as a comparison to the
current Senate "witch hunts." Critics said it was not a good play at
that time, however, later it was found to be superior. he House Un-American

Activities Committee summoned Miller to a hearing. Miller refused to name others
as communist sympathizers. He also said that he would only take responsibility
for himself and not others. Miller was fined and given a thirty day s pended
jail sentence because he spoke out like John Proctor in The Crucible (Griffin

7). During the McCarthyism period witnesses refused to answer questions and when
they did they were scorned (Bentley 302). Thousands of people who refused to
answer q stions and confess were executed during the seventeenth century.

Authorities believed