"The Crucible" And "To Kill A Mockingbird": Compare The Ways In Which The Two Authors Express Themes Of Power, Authority, Justice And Oppression

1931 words - 8 pages

'The Crucible' is a play written by Arthur Miller in which he demonstrates the familiarities of the life he lived in the nineteen-fifties. He communicates through his work to the way people are in his society and what people were like in the seventeenth century. However, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a prose, written by Harper Lee in the nineteen-sixties in which she illustrates, how racism was acceptable, and injustice was a problem in which everyone faced in the nineteen-thirties. Both of these literally acclaimed works are based on real life events, whether that is the Salem which trials in The Crucible or childhood events in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

Looking at both of these works the first thing we see is the title. The word 'Crucible' is defined as a container which purifies metals and gets rid of dirt. A court was set up to purify the town and characters in the play were faced with a great test while attempting to cleanse their community. However, whilst purifying, metals go their separate ways and that is what happened in the community. In contrast, in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', the mockingbird symbolises innocence, and Atticus says to his children "it was a sin to kill a mockingbird". The mockingbird represents the black man who is wrongly charged with rape.

Though, both of these work talk about power, oppression, justice and authority, however, the structure is different. 'The Crucible' is a play and Miller doesn't introduce the characters to the reader instead it's laden with dialogues. Miller structures 'The Crucible' into four acts. There is some off-stage action such as John Proctors affair. However, Lee employs a different style; she introduces the characters as the story goes on. Miller's style is very simple. He uses simple sentences and sentence structure with a simple vocabulary. While using the simple style, Miller does not take away from the suspense in his plot. The dialogues of his characters are like actual speech. His words are used effectively and do not include anything not necessary to convey the idea. Miller's speech is formal, yet simple and easy to understand. His language is plain and concise.

There are several cases of imagery and metaphor: "Abigail is there any other cause than you have told me, for your being discharged from Goody Proctor's service? I have heard it said, and I tell you as I heard it, that she comes so rarely to the church this year for she will not sit so close to something soiled. What signified that remark?" (Miller, A, 2000, Pg. 12) spoken by Reverend Parris. This comment spoken by Parris is more formal than most of the play since it is spoken by a reverend trying to get at some truth. However, this language is still clear and concise. Miller does not rely too much on imagery, but there are few places where he does use it, "sweated like a stallion" is how Abigail describes...

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