The Crucible written by Arthur Miller is a drama about the Salem Witch Trials which took place in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, USA. I had to read this book for a seminar.
The book was published in 1953. It starts with Samuel Parris discovering his daughter, his niece and several other kids from the town doing rituals which were declared as witchcarft at that time. The girls try to save themselves by fainting and showing different diseases they actually do not have. Because doctors cannot explain those illnesses they say it is the work of a witch and ask the children what had happened to them and who did it. They start to mention names.
Salem interests me even more than European witchcraft because this is caused by children. Reading the drama how Miller presented the happenings was both interesting and thrilling. I think with his work he showed how easily mistrust and unloyality can lead to cruel acts and it shows perfectly how important a critical questioning is. We should not believe everything another person says! I can recommend this book to everyone who wants to know more about this topic, though I must say it is just one version of many!
About the author:
He was a jewish immigrant in the USA who experienced his father becoming unemployed. Another book he wrote wasDeath of a Salesman which is probably even more known than the Crucible. When Miller was asked to mention names of authors who took part in communist writing sessions. He refused and was forced to prison and pay money. A year later he was pardoned.