What is it that we hate in The Crucible?

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

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I think that the primary element that evokes the reader's disdain in Miller's work is how those who should not have power actually do.  The power ofThe Crucibleis that it ends up demonstrating how terrible social and political settings are when those who should not be in power actually end up having it.  The reader feels a level of powerlessness in seeing how much Abby and the other girls end up having, and how destructive the leadership of Parris and the adjudication of Hathorne and Danforth actually is.  This is what ends up striking a chord in the reader because it is the realization of the reader's worst fears in the modern setting.  We believe in the power of elected officials through democratic self- rule.  Yet, what lies at the base of this, the fear that underscores it, is what happens if a charismatic and dynamic individual is able to convince the people of their vote and assumes power?  This is a reality that is to be rightly feared.  Hence, when it is seen in the drama, the reader is both frightened and fundamentally repulsed by what they are seeing because it hits so very close to the modern political predicament.  In this, Miller has constructed a drama that represents our worst fears, our most profound hated, and yet one that captures our most intense of imagination.

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