The Crucible by Arthur Miller Act 1 through 4
Choose one of the following essay topics to develop into an essay about The Crucible.
Essay Choice #1: Discuss whether John Proctor made the right choice in the end. What were his reasons for choosing the way he did? Should he have done something differently? Why or why not?
Essay Choice #2: Some argue that Miller was making a statement about hypocrites in the play. Argue what you believe Arthur Miller was trying to say about hypocrisy and provide examples to prove your point.
Essay Choice #3: What are the motivations for the groups involved in this historic event? Why do you think the girls (other than Abigail) acted the way they did? Why did the reverends act the way they did? Why did the judges act the way they did? Provide an explanation for each of these groups, their motivations, and use examples to support your ideas. Make sure to consider motivations such as the influence of power, social norms, religion, politics, and mob mentality.
Essay Choice #4: Who gets the blame for this entire horrific event? Does the majority of the blame rest on just one character, or is the blame spread to multiple characters? Take a stance about whether there is one villain or more than one villain and defend your position.
Essay Choice #5: The term witch hunt has resurfaced in our current political climate. Compare and contrast the Salem witch hunts of the past (as described in Arthur Millers play) to an example in more modern history (e.g., the McCarthy hearings) or in our current political climate. Make sure to address how they are alike and how they are different.
- In a 5-paragraph essay, begin with a solid introduction that includes a thesis statement responding to one of the topics.
- In the paragraphs that follow, support your thesis statement; include at least 3 quotations from the play that provide evidence to support your thesis statement. These quotes must be blended within your own sentences. *Extra Credit: Use more than 3 quotes.
- Remember that anything you copy from the text is considered a quote. A quote should be blended within your own sentence.
- Example: Abigail finds it necessary to lie and cover up the truth when all of the girls pretend to see the devil: . . . shielding their eyes . . . as though cornered, they let out a gigantic scream” (#). *The # symbol = the page number (which will vary depending on the version of the text you’re using)–include the page numbers as citations for the quotes. **If your version doesn’t use page numbers, include the act number instead–ex.: (Act I).
- Notice that the above quote uses an ellipse (. . .) twice to show the omission of words. You only want to include the most important parts of the quote. Do not quote overly-long passages.
- Make sure you include a conclusion (a concluding paragraph) in your essay.
- Thoroughly proofread your essay for grammar and spelling errors.