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What is effective regarding Miller's use of language in The Crucible?

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stunning | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 7, 2012 at 6:15 AM via web

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What is effective regarding Miller's use of language in The Crucible?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 7, 2012 at 6:29 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Miller's use of language is effective because he is able to utilize it in a manner that links to both today and that of the times of Salem.  Miller's language usage in the drama is accurate in terms of the time period.  The phrasing and syntax is reflective of how speech in the time of Salem was articulated.  It is difficult to grasp from a modern point of view at specific moments.  Miller strives to create the speech from an authentic point of view in order to be able to give credence to the work as an example of historical accuracy. The strict and formal manner of speaking only serves to underscore the condition of Salem as one in which individuals must follow accepted protocol and standard.  Through this language based thematic pivot, Miller is able to connect the work to the modern setting.  Miller is not captive to being placed in a time pressurized vacuum.  He is able to use language in a manner that links what happens then in Salem to the modern setting.  The prose inserts that give almost a type of commentary to the backdrop of the drama help to enhance this.  Especially evident in Act I when the prose inserts describe Salem, in general, Miller is able to make modern connections through his of language in the context of the drama.  In being able to link critical moments' language with a sense of the real that makes the drama all the more appreciative to the modern audience, Miller is able to connect with the audience.  Miller's use of language is so effective because he is able to construct his drama with one eye on the past and another on the present/ future.  This helps to make the drama successful on multiple levels.

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