The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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How do the location and place of Arthur Miller's The Crucible affect the enjoyment and understanding of the audience?

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How does the physical setting of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible affect the audience’s enjoyment and understanding of the work?  One might answer that question in several ways, including the following:

  • The fact that the play takes place in 17th-century New England is significant. Americans often think of New England as the place of their country’s origin – the place where “the Pilgrims” first landed and began to establish the civilization of which the United States is the direct descendent. Thus, American audiences will almost inevitably be interested in a place (and time) associated with the founding of the nation.
  • By setting the play in Salem in 1697, Miller immediately alludes to one of the most famous (and most unfortunate) episodes in all of American history: the Salem witch trials. This specific setting is, therefore, highly symbolic. By setting the play in Salem, Miller reminds us that almost from the very beginning of our country there have been episodes of great...

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