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Is truth reliable? Everybody has different perceptions of truth and what is represented by it. Truth is different where ever you go. People’s version of truth is never fully correct. Miller uses The Crucible to express his own views on what was happening in America at the time-McCarthyism he uses John Proctor, as he is interested in the person who doesn’t allow him to be caught up in hysteria but thinks for himself and stands up for his values against all odds. Miller uses the Salem witch-hunt to put forward his views on McCarthyism-the hunting down and prosecuting of any Americans who were thought to have taken part in anti-capitalism.
Miller himself was brought before the committee led by Joseph McCarthy. Miller saw the public confessions required by the committee, as parallels with the naming of names at Salem in 1692. History is evidence from people views on past events; again this cannot be taken for pure truth. Does this mean the truth can never be found or be totally correct? Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible from evidence in history that he collected; elements of the truth have been changed. Arthur Miller uses five main methods to represent truth; these are Imagery, Dialogue, Dramatic Irony, Staging or Setting and Character profile.
Dialogue is a main method that can be used to show how truth is represented as the play is written with very little in the way of movements and directors have the dialogue to base their plays around. Dialogue has many different ways of showing who has the highest status and most control of a conversation. When acted out these can include, accent, age, tone of voice and pitch for example. But in a play methods such as topic shift, conversation control, adjacency pairs, turn taking, silence or hesitation are used. In The Crucible Abagail controls a conversation between her and Betty about what happened.
Abagail shouts “Shut it! Now shut it! ” Abagail takes control of the conversation to stop Betty from saying what she is to change the topic of conversation, this is called topic shifts. This represents truth as Abagail and Betty are talking about the truth but Abagail wants to move away from it. This method give the audience a clear view of who is in the wrong and more information on the characters on stage. Betty represents the truth as she is trying to let it out and tell everyone what actually happened and Abagail is opposing the truth; this is how Abagail is portrayed throughout most of the play.
Her control of conversation is a great method of dialogue that gives her power and is what eventually allows her to escape death. When the character is speaking the audience know if he or she is telling the truth as they may have seen previous scenes that told them more information. This way the dialogue used can be used to cover up the truth using the dialogue techniques. Another method used to convey truth via dialogue is adjacency pairs. Adjacency means next to A question suggests the next turn will be an answer, a greeting suggests the next turn will be a greeting.
Many things people say could have several meanings; the next turn shows what the people take it to mean, for now. So if someone insults you, and you respond “Thank you,” you are taking the insult as a compliment. This is used a lot to dismiss an idea or statement given to a character. For instance Proctor says, ” We never touched, Abby” Abagail follows with ” Aye, but we did. ” Proctor follows with ” Aye, but we did not”. Proctors immediate dismissal is a shock for Abagail as it was not the expected response.
The word ‘Aye’ is a positive response that substitutes ‘yes’. At the end of the response the word ‘not’ is used this is negative and quickly changes the conversation from agreeing ang positive to negative and dissagreening. This is used to shock the audience and Abagail on stage. It conveys truth as it does not agree with Abagail and so the audience know one of them is not telling the truth, they either did or they did not touch. From the previous scenes they realise Proc Imagery is used a lot in the play. It is used on natural and items with symbols like the church.
Imagery is good as it allows the audience to get a view of the truth and more of an understanding of what is going on. The imagery used in The Crucible is mostly natural objects such as stone, light and fire, this could be because og the purtinsm and they belived in living naturaly. “Hard as rock” and “Where I stone” give images of a stone. Stone is linked to the truth because it is a natural strong material. It is tough on the outside and hard to break into. Truth can be hard to reach or get the exact truth and so is linked to rock.
Another way rock is linked to truth is that they are made in a cycle. Truth is changed in a cycle or a ring of people as people give others their opinion of the truth and rocks are made in a cycle and are changed during it. Another image related to truth is a book once a book has been written and finished it cannot be tampered with. It can be written over like the lies made up by people hiding the truth. The book as it was meant to be written can never be changed just like the truth. The cover of a book is strong and holds the book together along with its spine.
Again this is like the truth it is held together and made by what has happened. “The light of God is in him”, this shows he is pure not evil and the audience can imagine it. If God is in you, you cannot be evil. “Wheel inside Wheel” this is meant as an image of Salem, the people of Salem influence or move others inside Salem to do things they wouldn’t normally do. This shows truth, as it is Salem as a whole pushing people on. Dramatic Irony is used in The Crucible. The audience see what is going on and then they see the characters lie about what the audience know is true.
The audience see Paris praying next to Betty and the audience realise something is wrong, later on Paris denies any thing has happened and the audience know this is not true. Dramatic Irony represents truth and is used when the audience know some of the characters are lying to others. This makes the audience feel more powerful and raises the level of excitement and suspense. The audiences learn more about a character and their personality. They gain a personal view on whether to believe what they say later or not to. This shows truth very well as the audience know exactly who knows what information and who is truthful and who is not.
Dramatic irony shows the truth on which characters trust which and who they are willing to tell the truth. When characters have information that others don’t, they feel they have more power and so decide to different things with the power. Tituba’s lies reveal the truth, Tituba pretended to be possessed in a way to get back at Paris. Tituba says “He says Mr Parris must be kill! Mr Parris no goodly man, Mr Parris mean man and no gentle man,”Parris is the victim of dramatic irony. The audience are against Parris because of the character summary, it was heavily biased against Parris.