If you are not from Wantirna College you are welcome to use these pages. Please, however, do not use any materials for profit and where appropriate I would be grateful if you could acknowledge the fact that this wiki is compiled by Alice White - teacher and Head of English at Wantirna College, Victoria, Australia.

Criteria For this SAC

This is a link provided by Mrs Steel giving excellent background knowledge on the original story that inspired the play and McCarthyism


Arthur Miller's Article on why he wrote The Crucible is also really useful

http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1996-10-21#folio=158 or


Here are some study notes from an external source

There are also some great resources on Mr Stollery-Jones' wikispace (pictures of characters for instance) and Ms Steels' (notes on the play - you can compare with mine)

Here is my summary of The Crucible - from the point of view of the context and Mrs Steel's notes on The Crucible.

Examiners' Report with Sample Pieces- Includes Persuasive using Eli Kazan and Creative - perspective of character in The Crucible

Here's a reasonable essay more or less in expository form using Eli Kazan and The Crucible. Follow this link
Sometimes to achieve what we want, we may have to do something contradictory. The notion of fighting for peace comes to mind as we unravel the many wars and court battles which have taken place in the past, and are still prevalent today. In the end, much is lost, but stability is regained as one side completely dominates the other. Who could ever forget the McCarthyist fever that once gripped America, which resulted in trashed reputations and broken alliances between old colleagues? Those accused of being communists and communist sympathisers trying to overthrow the government in place stood no fighting chance in what was largely a one-sided war, where few good willed men emanating with solidarity fought an ugly, reckless war machine – one that they had perhaps inadvertently created themselves. HUAC victim and Playwright Arthur Miller teaches us, through his allegorical play The Crucible that choosing to fight for peace, rather than conceding to an abuse of power may result in great losses such as one’s career or even life, allows for the establishment of peace and stability for our underlying emotions – which is the greatest peace of all.

A man tortured “by his own vision of decent conduct”, John Proctor is able to show that whilst there may be “no ritual for the washing away of sins”, through fighting for what is right it is possible to regain moral sanctity. As Proctor makes the decision to give up his “good name” in an effort to save his friends and family, he takes a step forward in resolving the underlying conflict behind the façade of an invulnerable wall immune to emotional pain. Not only is he morally redeemed of his unfaithfulness, the tenuous strain on his relationship with his wife is relieved and made to be much stronger than before. Despite his inability to save his friends, we are shown that fighting against a seemingly invulnerable enemy for peace, is by no means as futile as it may sound, because in the end inner resolve can still be achieved.

However, if peace is to be achieved through war, our intentions must be pure. Senator McCarthy was nothing more than a politician corrupted by the power he wielded and the thought of losing it. As he condemned people on very little basis, he condemned too himself. After being revealed for the demagogue he was, he went into a state of depression, dying in the end from liver failure, resulting from his alcohol addiction. Hardly a heroic death, for a man once at America’s frontline for the fight against the “Red Devils”. In stark contrast, the victims of McCarthy’s reign gained further publicity and were commended for their heroic actions and even today, 50 years on, they are studied in schools. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with fighting for peace, despite as contradictory as this idea sounds, as in the end those who fight with the good intentions are able to clear their conscience. However, it is so often the case that one becomes disillusioned by the power they wield that they are no longer fighting for peace, but rather, power.

There is however one man in history, who fought for what he believe in was right – which included “naming names” to save himself. Even today, he is condemned for his actions. I talk about Elia Kazan, the notorious Hollywood director who for the past five decades has been erroneously labelled as a ‘’traitor’. What many fail to realise is the ordeals faced by this man, and that during times of conflict, people have a tendency of shielding their emotions from the eyes of others. Who knows of the permanent scars left on Kazan, as he was pressured into choosing career over friends? Who sympathises for the man, who after winning a lifetime achievement award had to face half a crowd unwilling to acknowledge him? Although it is not known whether Kazan regretted his actions, “He is a sinner … against the moral fashion of time” and there is no way for him to mitigate those sins now. Whilst in most cases when we fight for peace we are able to attain it, there are instances where this is not so, such as Kazan’s. It is therefore imperative to realise that conflict can have devastating impacts and the best chance of obtaining peace is to forgive oneself for sins committed, even if the entire world still condemns you.

Finally, it could be said that it is not impossible to attain peace through conflict, and furthermore, a lost battle has the potential to lead to a clear conscience. Every so often, we see those who are troubled until the end by the battles they fought and lost, and in those times it is most important to maintain solidarity.
I strongly advise using HUAC for raw material to use in expository or persuasive pieces.

Sample essays for the context that draw on The Crucible are attached here. 'Key elements' file also contains sample essays one and two. Other files contain multiple sample and the file name is the number of the first sample in that file.

Sample Response to Prompt
If you are struggling to do your practice piece. Have a look at the following - along with comments from me. Final grade? Probably a medium to high medium.

Some useful links from Mrs Steel
I'm seeing some modern day parallels with The Crucible here..........scary