Discuss Significance Of Title Of The Play “The Crucible”By Miller. Symbolism is used as a technique of using objects, characters, figures or colours to present ideas or concepts. He also defines the husband wife relation symbolical. Modern as well as old English dramatists, novelists and poets have used it lavishly to present their thoughts, concepts and ideas in an objective, or figurative way. They used this technique in order to highlight or uplift the appeal of the subject matters of their writings and literary works.
A deep study of The Crucible proves it as a symbolic play. Miller has used many symbols in his drama in order to present his ideas and concepts in an appealing manner. He also Discuss Significance Of Title Of The Play “The Crucible”. As it is known by the world that in the 1950’s, the atmosphere of communism was prevailing all over the world and the U.S.A. was playing its significant role in this respect. Being the product of the 1947 century, Miller clearly and openly depicted the McCarthyism of the early 1950’s. There is no doubt in dubbing this play as an indictment of the McCarthyism.
Actually, McCarthy was a senator who was much affected by the influence of McCarthyism and ultimately Formed a movement against the communism during the first years of the cold war between two Superpowers. Miller is rightly acknowledged and said as the greatest champion of the communist movement. He is famous for his red ideas. He favoured those revolutionary ideas which were led by McCarthy, especially congressional committees conducted highly controversial investigations; intended to root out communist sympathizers in the U.S.A.
As with the alleged witches of Salem, suspected communists were encouraged to confess and to identify Other Red sympathizers as means of escaping punishment. Witch craft can be rightly regarded as the symbol of this same tendency in “The Crucible”.
In that era, people of English society started realizing that they might be condemned as communists regardless of their innocence. In order to save themselves from the punishments, people made false confessions. The illegality and injustice of the court are rightly exposed when accused are bound or compelled to make false confessions. The proceedings of the court rightly show the fact that innocent people are executed and hanged in the allegation of witchcraft that is totally a metaphysical and unseen activity.
One finds many similarities between McCarthyism and Salem witch trials. There is no doubt in saying that in the Salem witch trials, Rebecca and Procter are the martyrs of communism because they have been victimized by McCarthyism.
As far as the title of the play is concerned, it is a highly symbolic one. The crucible itself means a melting pot in which metals are melted to remove their impurities and to get them pure. Ultimately these metals become stag free. Symbolically speaking we can say that the same thing is happened in this play. Here we see that impure persons are put to trial. and purgatory thoroughly by the punishments of both metal and physical level.
In this drama, Miller discuss Significance Of Title and court as the crucible where the impurities of communism are removed. Witchcraft symbolizes as communistic thoughts and concepts.
Proctor is the only personality in the drama who is absolutely upright, honest and blunt and hence he becomes the spokesman of independent ideas but he is guilty of adultery with Abigail on the other hand. It becomes very clear from his admittance that his repentance has been started as he admits before Abigail:
“I’ll cut off my hand before
I’ll ever reach you again”.
It is witchcraft which gives him an opportunity to confess his secret guilt openly and publicly and he does so. He finds the best use of chance happening but even then he retreats finding the confession: mere ritual not real one, because the court authorities want to use his name to make Rebecca and others to confess. He embraces death but remains unyielding and does not like to be a club in the hands of others to whip innocent.
Their marital relation also shown in this drama. There is no doubt in saying that Elizabeth is rightly a cold wife but unfortunately the trial acts as a purgatory for her and she recognizes her faults saying to Proctor in the following words:
“I have read my heart this three months, John. I have sins of my own to count. It needs a cold wife to prompt trechery?.
Rebcca too shares this solemnization when he utters:
“Let you fear nothing! Another judgement waits us all!”.
It is rightly observed in the whole course of the play that all the characters in the drama are purified by “Witch trails” as gold in the fire. Perhaps they were of the belief that “Witch trials” might convert them to angels. The “Witch hunt” has always different effects on other characters. In Abigail’s case, it has adverse effects and her sins are exposed openly and publicly.
As a result, she becomes a villain or Devil through the trial. She becomes so vindictive villain and lusty lecherous girl who uses this “hunt” as a means to wreck whore’s vengeance upon Elizabeth. At one stage, she becomes so degraded that she even drinks the blood of a cock as a charm to kill Elizabeth who is the wife of her old lover.
In the very starting scene of the play we see that as the play begins in Parris’ room where a candle is burning and there is no darkness. Actually this artificial light of the candle. symbolises or objectifies Parris’ love for worldliness in preference to solar light which is a natural light and is a symbol of light of religion. So, we see that his light serves as Parris aloofness from religion.
To conclude this above mentioned discussion, we can say vehemently and forcefully that “The Crucible” is not rich with imagery and symbolism and its symbolism is little one but no doubt a charming one. There are only two major symbols of “The Crucible” and only “The Witch trial” dominate the whole of the inner play. The misuse of authority has rightly been rebuked by the inner injustices and illegalities of the court. As it is also acknowledged by some critics that this play is about the corruption which is inherent in a man and the author is successful in presenting this idea through discuss Significance Of Title “The Crucible”. As Miller rightly writes at one occasion:
“It is a providence, and no great change, we are only what we always were, but naked now.”
There is no abundance of symbolic touches in the play because Miller believes in quality and not in quantity. These two major symbols are enough to expose the inner workings as well as the nakedness of the characters openly and vividly.