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The Crucible vs 1984

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Stefano Rossi

on 18 May 2011

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Transcript of The Crucible vs 1984

The Crucible vs 1984 Theme

Truth and power co-exist with each other. With the ability to control the truth, or what others believe is true, comes power, and power is sought only for one reason, as a means to an end. This is very evident in George Orwell’s 1984 and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Thesis

Whoever is able to manipulate what is true and what is not true, to everyone else, is the most powerful in a society, and can use this power to achieve ones ultimate goal. Main Points

We will look at:

1) Who controls the truth in the society and has the most power within it as well.

2) The mean to an end, or the ultimate goal of the power.

3) Methods and techniques for controlling the truth and maintaining power. Control Of Truth Within The Crucible

In The Crucible, Abigail Williams has control over the truth. We see an example of Abigail’s ability to control the truth here, “I want to open myself! I want the light of God; I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil...Glory to God! It is broken, they are free!...Let the marshal bring irons!” (Miller 48) Here we see the first accusations that Abigail makes in the novel. Reverend Hale then states that they are free from the Devil’s grip. This is where Abigail discovers that she has the ability to accuse whoever she pleases, and that important officials, such as Reverend Hale, will respond to her accusations very seriously. Abigail now has control over truth, and through this she will have power which she can use as a means to an end. Control Of Truth Within 1984

In 1984, Winston Smith is living in a totalitarian society where the Party controls the truth, and consequentially, power. We know that the Party controls the truth because of this quotation, “As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs -- to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and re-inscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.” (Orwell 53) Winston works for at the Ministry of Truth, where duties consist of editing and rewriting history in the form of various media in order to confirm and reinforce the Party’s version of the past and present. The Party refers to this task as the "rectification" of records. As we can clearly see, the Party controls the past to make it seem as if Party is always correct, and therefore control the all the truth in the society. There are no alternate records to prove the Party wrong or even records that they changed the past. With this control of truth, comes power, that they can use as a means to an end. Control Of Power Within The Crucible

In The Crucible, Abigail Williams has power over the town because she manipulates the truth, and even the highest of society’s members cannot refute this. A display of her power over the judge, Salem’s most prestigious official, is seen here, “You think you be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits?” (Miller 87) This is in court just after Mary Warren confesses to seeing spirits. Danforth asks Abigail if she was also pretending and she replies defensively and openly threatens him. This displays that she holds the power in the society, even over the judge, and that Danforth had better watch what he says to her, because she can accuse whoever she likes. Therefore, Abigail is in power, and is able to use it as a means to her ultimate goal. Control Of Power Within 1984

In 1984, the Party controls the truth by controlling the past and present. By controlling the truth, they have the most power in the society. One sees here that the Party is the most powerful, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” (Orwell 25) This is a slogan of the Party that asserts their power. Since the Party can convince the rest of the society that they have always been right, they control the past. Nothing is stopping the Party from continuing to convince the society that they are always right, thus they also control the future. In this way, the Party is the most powerful in the society because they control the truth. They can then use this power as a means to an end. Comparison

Both Abigail and the Party are able to manipulate the truth, and in doing so, the gain the most power over the society. This shows that power and truth co-exist with each other, and can be used to manipulate the rest of the society. The Goal Of The Powerful Within The Crucible

In The Crucible, Abigail is in power, and her motive is realized by John Proctor, “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave!” (Miller 89) This is said when Proctor breaks down and confesses their affair as a last ditch effort to save the condemned. Abigail has fallen in love with Proctor as a result of their affair, and it is clear that Abigail is jealous of Goody Proctor, and wishes to kill her so she can be with Proctor. This is Abigail’s main goal throughout the novel. Fueled by her goal of killing Goody Proctor, Abigail is able to control the truth, and therefore puts her in a position of power, which is used to accomplish her ultimate goal of killing Goody Proctor. The Goal Of the Powerful Within 1984

The goal of the Party in 1984 is unlike any other goal of any other nation that has been in power. The goal of the Party is seen here, “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power...The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" (Orwell 274) Rather than seeking power as a means to something else, the Party’s quest for power is for power’s own sake. It is not a means; it is an end, therefore power is both their means and their end. The Party’s main goal is to perpetually be the ruling class, and to only gain more and more control. The Party can control the truth, and therefore is at the top of the society, and they use this power to help them gain more power, as that is their goal. The Goal Of The Powerful In 1984

The goal of the Party is not to only stay in power forever, but to also create a totalitarian society based on hatred, pain and torture. This is evident when O’Brien, a representative of the Party discusses future plans, “Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.” (Orwell 292) This shows the brutality of the Party and how they plan to stay in power, by creating a society that is constantly oppressed by pain and fear, and loyalty to the Party will be the only loyalty. The Goal Of The Powerful In The Crucible

Abigail is not only set out to Kill Goody Proctor, but to get vengeance, as she is a scapegoat within the town of Salem. We know she is out to get vengeance because Proctor sees it within her “"I'll tell you what's walking Salem, vengeance is walking Salem." (Miller 74) He is referring to Abigail accusations of witchcraft when he says this. Abigail is a scapegoat because she is a lowly servant within the society, as well as an orphan. She also has had her name diminished by Goody Proctor, as a result of her affair. Abigail uses her power to get vengeance on the town, as well as Goody Proctor. Comparison

Abigail and the Party have obtained power for very different reasons, Abigail to get revenge and steal Proctor away from his wife, and the Party to create a society built on hatred and remain in power. Where Abigail would give up her position of power to be with Proctor, the Party would never relinquish it to elsewhere. Methods Of Controlling Truth Within The Crucible

Various methods were used in The Crucible by Abigail to take control of the truth within the society. Abigail’s method of controlling her friends was very effective, as seen here, “Shut up! All of you. We danced. That is all, and mark this, if anyone breathe a word or the edge of a word about the other things, I will come to you in the black of some terrible night, and I will bring with me a pointy reckoning that will shudder you! And you know I can do it. I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine. And I have seen some reddish work done at night. And I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!” (Miller 20) This was said after the girls were discovered dancing. Abigail uses fear as a tool to control the truth. She threatens to kill anyone who might revoke her manipulation of the truth, effectively keeping her in control of it. She will use any means necessary to keep her power. Methods For Controlling Truth Within 1984

In 1984, there are also many techniques used by the Party to control the truth. One of the techniques is called “thoughtcrime”, monitored by the “thoughtpolice”, as seen here “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death." (Orwell 102) This displays that the society is living in a constant fear of thoughtcrime. If one is accused, they are immediately disposed of, ensuring that there is no deviation from the Party’s will. This shows the Party’s brutality toward keeping their power and complete control over society. Methods For Controlling Truth Within The Crucible

A tool Abigail used in The Crucible to manipulate the truth is her ability to falsify afflictions. We see her ability to do so here, right after Mary Warren Tries to take away Abigails control over the truth, “The wings! Her wings are spreading! Mary, please, don’t, don't...!” (Miller 114) Soon after Abigail says this in the court, judge Danforth accuses Mary Warren of spirit shifting. This shows Abigail has the ability to convince others that her truth is the only relevant one, and it is above all other, keeping her in power. Methods For Controlling Truth Within 1984

The Party also controls the truth through Newspeak, a new version of the English language consisting of thousands of fewer words than today’s English. We see the goal of Newspeak here “Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten." (Orwell 59) The Party wishes to narrow the range of thought so much, that society will lose its conception of almost everything, other than what the Party wants them to think about. This controls the truth because it makes society incapable of understanding otherwise, keeping the Party in power. Comparison

Abigail’s and the Party’s methods for controlling the truth are very similar. We see that fear and threat of death enable them to keep control over others, and make others unable to threaten their control of the truth. Also, trickery such as narrowing the expanses of thought, and using deceiving acting is another way to prevent the loss of control of truth. This visual represents the extent of the power that Abigail has in The Crucible. It demonstrates that the lives of others lie in her hands, and she has the ability to completely control whoever she chooses, just like puppets on strings. This visual represents the constant fear of living with the thought police. Having your every move watched for even a hint of thought crime. It also shows how totalitarian the society is, and there is no freedom of thought, let alone freedom of speech. The slogan on the poster also uses fear as a tool, by mentioning enemies and guns. This visual show that the combination between truth and power is authority, or the ability to have people listen to you and believe you, which is the theme of my essay. With authority, one has control and power over a society, which one can as a means to an end, or an ultimate goal. This visual is a representation of Big Brother, or the leader of the Party. The slogan “Big Brother is Watching You” is another way of controlling the society. It instills fear and a sense of being watched all the time. The representation of these two visuals is to give a real life comparison of the Party. The Party and Nazi Germany were similar in many ways, mostly in that their political leaders were both on a quest for power, and brainwashed a country to do so. You can also see how the Party might have used its propaganda of Big Brother much like Nazi Germany used its propaganda of Hitler. Song Representstion

Time is Running Out - Muse

I think I'm drowning
I wanna break this spell
that you've created

you're something beautiful
a contradiction
I wanna play the game
I want the friction

you will be the death of me
you will be the death of me

bury it
I won't let you bury it
I won't let you smother it
I won't let you murder it

our time is running out
our time is running out
you can't push it underground
you can't stop it screaming out

I wanted freedom
bound and restricted
I tried to give you up
but I'm addicted

now that you know I'm trapped sense of elation
you'd never dream of
breaking this fixation

you will squeeze the life out of me

bury it
I won't let you bury it
I won't let you smother it
I won't let you murder it

our time is running out
our time is running out
you can't push it underground
you can't stop it screaming out
how did it come to this?

you will suck the life out of me

bury it
I won't let you bury it
I won't let you smother it
I won't let you murder it

our time is running out
our time is running out
you can't push it underground
you can't stop it screaming out
How did it come to this?
ooooohh In conclusion, it can be argued that when one has control over what is true and what is not true in a society, one has the most control and power in the society, and uses that power towards a ultimate goal. This has been proven by establishing who controlled the truth, how that then in turn led to power, and how that power was channelled into an ultimate goal as seen by the Party in 1984, and Abigail in The Crucible.
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