Dust off your Classics : The Crucible by Arthur Miller

October 12, 2015 Book review, Dust off Your Classics 18 ★★★½

Once upon a time there were two bookworms who wanted to read Classics.  But they were afraid, a little intimidated and needed encouragement.  So they joined forces and formed the Dust off your Classics challenge to support each other.  Dee from Dee Read’s and myself read our way through some good classics, some great classics and found so much in these books that is surprisingly still relevant.  So much so that I want to continue reading them and will continue to share my thoughts here on any I get through.

Dust off Your Classics

 

This time around I’m dusting off a classic play as I have seen the movie and wanted to read the original play.  Plus after reading A Doll’s House I just wanted to continue reading more plays as they make for quick but entertaining reads.  So when the audiobook went on sale, I grabbed it!

Dust off your Classics : The Crucible by Arthur MillerThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Published by Penguin Classics on 2 Jan 1953
Genres: Classic, Emotions & Feelings, Historical Fiction, play
Pages: 127
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Length: 1 hour and 59 minutes
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Arthur Miller's classic parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 – 'one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history' – and the McCarthyism which gripped America in the 1950s.

The story of how the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice, culminating in a violent climax, is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations.

Five Classic Reasons to dust off and read The Crucible :

  • Full Cast Audiobook : This was my first time listening to a full cast audiobook and it felt like a very different experience.  A little confusing at the start as I wasn’t sure what character was speaking but once I got used to it, I enjoyed it.  And listening (rather than watching the film) just made the words seem even more crushing.
  • Infamous setting of The Salem Witch Trials : It was so horrific and it equally terrified and captivated me.  Mob mentality at its most powerful and very worst.
  • Still relevant:  The theme of this book remains relevant today.  In the world we live in today, where terrorist attacks occur and provoke fear and paranoia, you can see how easily it would be for witch-hunts to occur all over again.  Not looking for witches but for groups of people to blame.
  • Complex Characters : John Proctor is a mass of contradictions.  He holds firm to his beliefs and is shown to be morally strong.  However he also had an affair and even after that ended, he still had moments of flirtation with Abigail.  I admired his resolve at the end but hated his hypocrisy and his feeling that his reputation was more important than how he treated people.
  • Vicious ending: The whole play was always heading full speed ahead towards this inevitable ending and that made the pace seem almost too fast as I wanted to delay the horror.

Rating Report
Characters
three-stars
Setting
four-stars
Pace
three-half-stars
Did I feel it?
three-half-stars
Overall: three-half-stars

 

Who should read The Crucible by Arthur Miller?

Well you!  If you three or more or my reasons above resonate with you!

 

Talk to Trish:  Have you read the book or seen the film?  Do you think the theme is just as relevant today?

three-half-stars

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18 Responses to “Dust off your Classics : The Crucible by Arthur Miller”

  1. Diamond's Reads

    Really glad you loved this one! I’m just composing my DNF post for Turn of the Screw 🙁 I hate DNF reviews..lol I always put them off hahaha …

    ‘m almost done with the following classic that i chose. Over Sea, Under Stone. I think it’s great how we are dong this more out of the box 🙂 It’s working because I love this middle grade classic! BTWI haven’t had a chance to redo the graphic but I’m ding to b/c it’s needed, sorely! 😉

    Great review, Trish. I loved this one too I read it in school but if I didn’t you would’ve convinced me to try it
    Diamond’s Reads recently posted…Not your average retelling: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

    • trish

      I’ve never heard of Over Sea, Under Stone. Going to check it out on GR, you know I love middle grade classics too.
      Oh yes, please do the graphic whenever you get a chance, it would inspire us both all over again!
      Glad you enjoyed this one too. I’m glad now that I’ve read the play as well as seen the movie.

    • trish

      It’s horrible to think that it’s still relevant today but it probably always will be. Mass hysteria is a timeless theme.
      I enjoyed the movie version too.

    • trish

      I haven’t heard of Conversion, I’ll have to look that one up. And yes I bet you’d have a fascinating discussion about how relevant these themes still are and what form modern day witch hunts take.

  2. Lark

    I read this book in high school, and saw the play then, too. I thought the Daniel Day Lewis movie version of it was pretty good. It’s a powerful story, but I found it hard to really like any of the characters. All of them had moments that I could admire, and moments that I totally didn’t. I guess that’s what makes it a classic, huh?
    Lark recently posted…A bookish slump…

    • trish

      The Daniel Day Lewis version is the only movie version that I’ve seen. I think it would be good fun to see it live some day. And I’m the same, I didn’t really like any of the characters, they just seemed selfish or hypocritical but the plot hooked me! It was crazy stuff!

    • trish

      I’d love to listen to And Then There Were None on full cast audio. It is a little confusing at the beginning though as you have to work out who is talking but it’s a another fun way of experiencing a book.

    • trish

      Believe me I know, I’ve DNF’d far more than I’ve read 🙂 But I have found some that I really enjoy and enjoy challenging myself with them.

  3. Wattle

    I remember studying this at school, we watched the movie and read the play (while listening to the audio – not sure which version though) and I loved every second of it. I actually went to Salem a few years ago because of it lol such an interesting place.

    You’ve inspired me to track down the audiobook 🙂
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers

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