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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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OTHER ELEMENTS

SETTING

The Crucible is set in the small settlement of Salem,
Massachusetts, in 1692. The first three acts take place in the
spring, and the fourth act in the fall.

Actually there were two Salems-Salem Town and its tiny
suburb, Salem Village. Reverend Parris' house was in Salem
Village, and it was here that his slave Tituba, his daughter
Betty, and his niece Abigail Williams first "came down with"
witchcraft. The trials, however, were held for the most part in
the large meeting house in Salem Town.



Each act is set within a fairly small room: Act I is in a bedroom
in Reverend Parris' house; Act II in the Proctors' "living room";
Act III in an anteroom to the main hall of the "meeting house,"
or church; and Act IV in a cell in the Salem jail. These settings
give an impression of containment, almost of claustrophobia, as
if we're boxed in, caught in a trap. As the pressure builds in each
act, a sense of panic is bound to set in. Of course, this is exactly
what the victims of the witch-hunt must be feeling. Arthur
Miller's settings help us identify with the characters, by putting
us, in a sense, in the same room with them.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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