AP English 11
24 November 2014
The Crucible Rhetorical Analysis
In the play The Crucible (1953), Arthur Miller exhibits how McCarthyism compares to the hysteria of the Salem witch trials. Miller tells the story through the eyes of Puritan civilians during the witch trails. The Crucible was written portray the United States paranoia about communism and others randomly accusing others of being communist. Miller writes towards the American society of the 1950’s, which was highly influenced by Communism. The play is told in a serious and dramatic tone to relate to the witch trails.
The logical center of the play is that there is no logic at all. The entire story is based off of false accusations being approved by a higher authority. In Act III, the hysteria of the play is strongly shown:
ABIGAIL: Why-? She gulps. Why do you come, yellow bird?
PROCTOR: Where’s a bird? I see no bird!
ABIGALE, to the ceiling: My face? My face?
PROCTOR: Mr. Hale-
DANFORTH: Be quiet! (114).
There was obviously no yellow bird in the courtroom, but no one could see that except for Proctor, Hale, and many others. Danforth was so stubborn and stuck in his ways that he believed in the imagination of teenage girls over Proctor and other innocent civilians.
The usage of pathos in The Crucible stirred up many different emotions in the reader. At the end of Act IV, Elizabeth and Proctor’s last words caused a very emotional impact:
PROCTOR: I will not hear! I know you!
ELIZABETH: You will take my sins upon you, John-
PROCTOR, in agony: No, I take my own, my own!
ELIZABETH: John, I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me! Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love. It were a cold house I kept! (137).
Although The Proctors were under horrible circumstances, their lovely dialogue between each other balanced the situation out. This scene really showed Miller’s ability to sway moods. Granting...