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In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, what are the literary techniques in this quote:"Let...

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cmiranda5151 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted January 28, 2009 at 5:54 AM via web

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In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, what are the literary techniques in this quote:

"Let either of You breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to You in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder You...I can make You wish You had never seen the sun go down!"

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 28, 2009 at 6:52 AM (Answer #1)

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Three literary techniques seem inherent in this passage: character development, external conflict, and the use of metaphor.

Characters can be developed in several ways, such as through their words, actions, and inner thoughts. In this passage, Miller develops Abigail's character through what she says. Her words are strong and ominous, threatening. There is the suggestion of violence in them. Abigail is shown here as the dangerous, controlling young woman she is, one who will stop at nothing to achieve what she wants.

There is conflict in the passage, an external conflict between Abigail and the other girls. Although they are consumed with fear and wish to tell the truth, Abigail will not let them. Her will is stronger than theirs, and the witch hunt continues.

Miller's use of language is seen in the passage. He sometimes created his own words and expressions to give the play the flavor of 17th century New England. His expression, "the edge of a word," is an example. It is also a metaphor for any hint whatsoever that would cast doubt upon Abigail, the girls, or their accusations. This shows Abigail's fierce determination to maintain power and personal safety by keeping the truth from coming out

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