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The Crucible Essay Topics
Choose one of the following topics to engage in a clear, well reasoned, analytical essay. You must present a clear argument, with a thesis and prove your argument with support from the text. Your essay MUST contain quotes and citations for each point you make in the essay, a minimum of one quote per body paragraph of the essay. The essay should be three pages typed, double-spaced, font 12, 1-inch margins.
Drawing parallels between The Crucible and contemporary society. For this option, you would take instances from the play or specific characters and explain how they mirror situations or people in our current society. Discuss how the events of the play constitute an attempt of some segments of society to overturn the traditional ways of society, while other segments fight to maintain /strengthen the old/traditional social order. Discuss Miller’s larger message as it relates to these struggles, considering the witch hunts as an allegory for the McCarthy trials, as well as social struggles in other times and places (such as modern day America). In other words, how is the play a battle among the groups or divisions mentioned above, and how might their motives and struggles mirror the motives and struggles of various societal segments in other societies besides that of Salem in the 1600s? Use specific characters to represent the social groups/divisions that you will discuss. You will need both quotes from the play and at least two outside sources to support your argument.
Discuss how a theme – such as scapegoating, greed, integrity, hunger for power/authority/respect, protectiveness of reputation and self-image, cowardice/bravery, hysteria/paranoia, deception or falsehood/honesty, individual/society, the power of falsehood, self-preservation as a powerful motivator, absolutism, and hypocrisy – functions in the play. Choose a character and discuss how he/she embodies this theme. Discuss how the theme – in all of its manifestations and transformations – reveals Miller’s underlying message.