In The Crucible, find examples of the different ways Miller uses language to represent the hostility between member of Salem.

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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First of all, Miller throws them all in a tiny room together, gives them a pretty tense situation to try to figure out, and uses that that as the catalyst for a lot of the aruging that is occuring.  And, it works--the sparks certainly do fly.  So not only does he use language to relay the tension, but he sets it all up with an intense situation that brings out the worst in people.

As the townsfolk argue, look at some of the word choices and phrases that Miller has them using.  They use phrases like "I like not the 'smell' of this authority" (Proctor here, using sarcasm to relate his distaste of Parris's preaching), Parris saying things "in a fury" (in the stage directions), "Aye, and well instructed in arithmetic" (Giles, being sarcastic about Parris's obsession with salary), "Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again?" (Proctor, criticizing Parris's sermon topics), "Why then, I must find it and join it" (Proctor, saying he'll join opposing forces against Parris, "Why, we are surely gone wild this year" (Putnam to Proctor, accusing him of stealing lumber), "What anarchy is this?" (Putnam to Proctor), "You load one oak of mine and you'll fight to drag it home!" (Putnam threatening Giles), "I'll have my men on you!" (Putnam to Giles again).

In this extensive list (and there is much, much more) we see sarcasm, threats, whining, criticism, antagonism and hatred abounding.  Miller uses not only the words that they say to relay this tension, but the pace at which it is said (they go back and forth very quickly, escalating the tension), how the things are said (the stage directions), and in all of the underlying meaning relayed in the information they give.  With all of these techniques, Miller manages to, in one quick scene, expose the fact that Salemites have many underlying issues with one another.  This provides relevant background information that helps to explain how so many were accused of witchcraft.

I hope that these thoughts helped; good luck!

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