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The Crucible

             the Reality of the Salem Witch Trials.
             Arthur Miller's play The Crucible parallels events that occurred during the Salem witch trials of 1692. However, it does not give an actual historical account. There are many discrepancies in the text that differentiate The Crucible from the true story of the Salem witch trials. An example of these would be the relationship between characters John Proctor and Abigail Williams. In the true story, there was never any love relation; the two hardly ever came in contact. Where Arthur Miller represents Proctor as a 35-year old farmer and Abigail as a 17-year old, lust-crazed teenager, the reality is quite different. John Proctor was actually the owner of a tavern on the outskirts of town and aged 60, and Abigail was only eleven. Although the two may have made frequent contact, engaging in a sexual affair would prove quite a comedy if we consider that Mr. Proctor would most-likely have had problems with impotence at his age, and Abigail would not be sexually active. As for Elizabeth Proctor's encounters with Abigail Williams; Miller writes Abigail to hate Elizabeth for standing in the way of her desire. The historical truth is that Abigail and Elizabeth (John's third wife, aged 41) hardly knew each other. There is no way that Elizabeth Proctor could have ever thrown Abigail from the Proctor house because the truth is that Abigail never worked for the Proctors; they lived in different sections of town. More alterations of history are revealed when we examine Tituba, the slave of Samuel Parris. There are small differences such as a 20-year age variation between the play and reality, but there are also major ones, including her race. In Salem Village, Tituba was a South American Indian of the Arawak tribe, yet Arthur Miller portrays her as an African voodoo woman.

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