Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Read: Nov. 2-8, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (although I'm tempted to give it 4)
Format: Paperback, 152 pages
Publication: October 1976 by Penguin Books
Genres: classic, play, historical fiction

Blurb from Goodreads:

"Arthur Miller's classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in 17th century Salem is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially-sanctioned violence. Written in 1952, The Crucible famously mirrors the anti-communist hysteria that held the United States in its grip."

Okay, okay, so....

I realize that this is a....classic and it has a reputation for being a really great book.....

I also realize that there are many people who have reviewed this book and talked about all the significance and symbolism of this book....

So, because I read this book for pleasure and not school...I will "review" this as such.
Meaning, these are purely my rambling thoughts and nothing else.


Let's begin!

This was one of the books on my list of classics to read I made...for myself.

And so far....I've been the most invested in this one! So...yay, I guess!?

If I were to describe this play in one word....without a moment's hesitation, I'd say frustrating.

Super....super frustrating.


Okay, two things that frustrated me....

1) the ending.
Nope, nope, nope. I did not like the ending, At all. It was too sudden. It didn't give me any closure. It DID NOT HAVE A SATISFYING ENDING! Well....I suppose it would be more accurate to say that it was not the ending I was hoping for.....if I were looking at this like a book I'd read for school....I might have a different opinion....maybe I'd comment on how the ending was...fitting for this play, or some other nonsense like that....but I'm not. Which is why, I'm going to say this again. I. Did. Not. Like. The. Ending.

2) the....hysteria?
Maybe peer pressure would work as well?'s not quite peer Remember how much I hated the ending....this hysteria and...peer pressure(?)? Times that hate by 916. Yes, that's right. I haaaaaaaaated it! It frustrated me! It annoyed and irritated me! I was literally talking to the book (characters?), telling them how ridiculously stupid they were being, what a big mistake they were making....while banging a fist on the floor every time these somethings (specifically, someTHING, actually) happened.

And then....after I flipped the last page of the book. and took a few seconds to calm myself after that despicable ending....I burst (not really) out of my room and ran to my sister. I HAD to tell her everything, but I soon found that it just wasn't the same (she was also staring at me blankly). And so....I begged her to read the play herself.


Hmm...what else is there I want to mention.....

Oh! John Procter. Despite the horrible ending, I....quite admired his character (don't worry, I'm not going into a full character analysis! Definitely admirable qualities. I won't say much case I spoil something.

Another know how classics are usually old...? And have somewhat incomprehensible language? Okay...perhaps that's a bit of a stretch, get the point.....if you're a....high school-er like sometimes get lost in the writing...and I don't mean that in a good way....

I feel overwhelmed....with the phrasing of the words....the way the speak....and...and...blah. Just blah. This one.....wasn't so bad....but there was still a was especially noticeable at the beginning.

But soon enough, I was more focused on the actual story, and I enjoyed it a lot more.

I'd often find myself getting so excited, I'd quickly read through the page....skimming, I guess....just because I HAD to find out what happened next! And then I'd realize that I just read a page in less than 15 seconds, and I'd go back to catch any bits of information I missed.

Oh! This reminds me of something else!
See how incredibly unorganized I am?! Isn't it wonderful?!

So...this something....names.

I got names mixed up. Specifically, Danforth, Herrick, and Hathorne. I'd have to keep flipping back...looking for descriptions of who they are....and, ugh...flippy flippy no good! It distracts me from the story!

There were some other characters I could never remember....characters like Mercy Lewis.....Cheever, Hopkins, the Putnams, and Sarah Good. I knew that there was a person who did this or that...but...I always forgot the name. And...I would often be confused when they would use their last names in the...err...margins(?), and call each other by their first names....I get so used to thinking about these people with their last names that when they call each other by their first names....I become....confuzzled!

Also!  Gilf!*  He read this book!  And I'm sure he went into great depth while reading this book...made lots of connections, wrote lots of essays, got to know the characters a lot more than any sane person would....what if he reads my review and scoffs at it?!  Because it's no in adequate?!  I know I said that I wouldn't review this book the same as I would a school book....for grades or anything like that...but still!  I'm insecure about my "review" now.

*yes, of course I have to mention Gilf, he's my favourite person of ever!  Hi Gilf!


I'm done!



I'd say this classic really improved my general impressions about classics. They CAN be interesting! Who knew?!

Now I'm done.
Best book about peer pressure/hysteria you've read?

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