Describe the significance of Miller's writing style in The Crucible.

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

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I think that one of the most distinctive features in Miller's writing style is how he places the viewer/ reader in the middle of the action.  This is done from a political, emotional, and social point of view.  Miller's writing style in the drama is one in which we are akin to "a fly on the wall."  For example, in the opening scene, when Betty lies in her condition, the reader has to piece together what happened.  Miller's style is one in which he uses the emotions and the reactions of the people around the situation to be able to speak to what actually is happening.  This is masterfully done in displaying the domestic situation of John and Elizabeth.  From him adding seasoning to the food, to the cold and tepid way in which both husband and wife speak to one another, to their disagreeing in the way John handled the challenges with Abigail, Miller's style is to put the reader in the middle of the action, forcing them to piece together what is happening with their own perceptions as well as Miller.  This style of writing is effective because it pulls the reader into the drama, while asking them to bring their own baggage to the reading of the drama.  In doing so, Miller has been able to bring out what is happening in the text, but also what is happening in the reader, making the drama a powerful experience in text and in the reader's mind, as well.

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