By Harold Bloom
The Crucible, Arthur Miller's vintage play concerning the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, is returning to Broadway. To mark the get together, Penguin is happy to supply this pretty hardcover variation. "A robust drama." (Brooks Atkinson, the hot York occasions)
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Extra info for Arthur Miller's The Crucible (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
And this forgetfulness is part of the tragedy” (“It Could Happen Here 297). 5. See Martin 279–92. . . reminds us that Miller, even in the face of his own evidence, professes to believe in the basic strength and justice of the social organism, in the possibility of good neighbors. If he criticizes society, he does so from within, as a participant and believer in it” (“Arthur Miller’s The Crucible” 146). 6. Among the best discussions of the Puritans’ doctrine of visible sanctity and their federal theology are: Edmund Morgan, Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea (New York, 1963); Sacvan Bercovitch, Puritan Origins of the American Self (New Haven, 1975); and Michael Colacurcio, “Visible Sanctity and Specter Evidence: The Moral World of Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown,’ ” Essex Institute Historical Collections, 110 (1974), 259–99.
Proctor. And you 34 E. ” (246). Miller here recalls the antinomian crisis in Puritan New England which, like the witchcraft trials, brought to the surface an inherent tension between the Puritans’ strict Calvinist faith and their federal theology; the tension between an invisible covenant between man and God, eternal and unbreakable, and a visible covenant, highly perishable, between God and the people’s religious and political institutions. Outward forms, names, and institutions had come to be more cherished than the sanctity of an individual soul, even to the Proctors, who perish as a consequence of what must be viewed not only as apostasy but as human hubris.
It is another trait we inherited from them, and it has helped to discipline us as well as to breed hypocrisy among us” (239). John and Elizabeth Proctor, like many other Puritans, perhaps like many other Americans, assumed a priori that they were sinful and thus worthless. Therefore they misread and misjudged their lives’ experiences. They judged themselves guilty and were willing to accept the verdict of guilty by others. Most frightening for the nation, this self-destructive attitude of guilt had become institutionalized in the American theocracy, and when it was given power, these qualities which defined the victim became the instruments which supported and strengthened the oppressor.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Harold Bloom