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Analyze the author's style in The Crucible in how it relates to the time period in...

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defolks | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM via web

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Analyze the author's style in The Crucible in how it relates to the time period in which he wrote. 

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 26, 2013 at 1:42 PM (Answer #1)

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While Miller openly claims that the work is not meant to be anything but what it is, Miller's discussion of Salem society in the exposition to the drama helps to bring out strong connections to the time period in which he was writing.  The discussion of Salem being a closed society, perpetually driven by fear of the unknown and individuals in the position of power using that fear to demand conformity and denial of personal expression are connections Miller's style of writing is able to forge between Salem and America of the 1950s.  The perceived authenticity of their own set of beliefs enables Salem to proceed on a path that dissuades expression of any values deemed as different or against the norm.  This is something that Miller had to hold awareness of as the McCarthy Hearings gained traction and better understanding.  At the same time, I think that the repression of voice that Miller argues was intrinsic in the manner in which Salem children were raised is something that connects to the time period in which he was writing.  His description of children being one in which “like the rest of Salem, never conceived that the children were anything but thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak," clearly parallels life in the 1950s American social setting.  Finally, the "predilection for minding other people's business" was as much in Salem as what Miller perceived to be the case in America of the 1950s.  It is here in which the style of Miller's writing about Salem finds resonance in the time period in which he is writing the drama.

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