In the insular, Puritan community of 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, a group of young girls are found dancing in the woods, and immediately fall ill. When no earthly cause can be determined, the citizens of Salem suspect that some more sinister force may be at hand. As long-held grudges turn to violent disputes, humiliating secrets are exposed and disseminated, and the line between truth and pretense becomes increasingly blurry, the citizens’ dogged determination to root out evil becomes more dangerous than the evil itself. When the burden of proof is invisible and the crime too terrible to name, everyone becomes a suspect and no one is safe. The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s remarkable 1953 play, remains as relevant as ever, and carries with it a stern warning: in every community torn by suspicion, the most dangerous threat may be the community itself.
The Crucible guide sections