Sunday 9 September 2012
The Crucible - Arthur Miller
I have read very few plays outside school. In fact apart from the Shakespeare plays I read back in January I can't remember the last time I picked one up. It seems I am missing out however. I read this in one night. It's not a large play but even if it had been I doubt I would have had the power to put it down. I hadn't even intended on reading it since I was in the middle of another book. I was originally just having a quick flick through it since it was going to be my next read. That flick was fatal because of course I was instantly transported into the play.
The detail in it was amazing considering it is limited in comparison to the novel. I actually quickly forgot it was a play I was reading. Of course I new the plot of the story. It's fairly well known and despite not having read it or seen it dramatised or the film I knew most of it. A group of girls are about to be caught having performed witchcraft with one girl as their leader. She then points the finger to save herself and of course finds it a convenient way to rid the village of all the people who may have crossed her at some point. What I wasn't expecting was that it is seen mainly from the point of view of some of their victims rather than the girls themselves. If anything it gave more drama to the play as you sense the fear of the characters and then their resolution.
It was very well paced and as the book proceeded the more out of control the girls got, the more the fear increased and the pace quickened again. Reading the blurb at the back the play wasn't meant to be just about the Salam witch trials. It was a reflection of the era. Particularly the McCarthy era. I actually know a little about it thanks to another favourite book of mine, The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. When the cold war and fear of communism caused lots of finger pointing.
I read this for the poetry/drama category of the Mixing It Up Challenge hosted by Ellie of Musings of a Bookshop Girl. I am not the clued up on poetry and to be honest can take it or leave it. I was more excited about trying some drama which I also have little experience of. I am sure I would have read The Crucible anyway but it's thanks to this challenge that it was sooner rather than later. Possibly one of my favourites of the challenge so far and another fantastic classic to add to my list. If you are interesting on seeing how I am getting on with this challenge you can find my edited original post here (only two more categories to go).