A Reader posted a review at 2009-01-17 02:10:28.
The play opens with the Rev. Parris praying by the bed of his daughter who is laying there motionless, it is feared that she has been bewitched from an unheard of evening of dancing with her cousin Abigail. Abigail is one of the key players is the whole plot. She is the first to start calling of names of women in the community she says are witches and have dealings with the devil. Later, a farmer named John Proctor enters the scene to see what is wrong with the Reverend's daughter. This is considered a big deal because Proctor is viewed as a not very Christian man because he doesn't go to church every Sunday. Being set in Puritan times, you can tell that the church was the center for everything, and everyone came to the Reverend as one would a public official. Proctor tries to convince the congregation that all this witchcraft stuff is all in the girls' heads and not real. But no one believes him because Abigail and Betty, the reverend's daughter, put on a very convincing show. It is later revealed that Abigail and Proctor once had an "interlude" together, and she does what she can to replace John's wife.
Miller breaks in once in awhile in the book to compare this moment in history to that of McCathrism, which was in full tilt when the book was first published. It is hard for me to wrap my brain around people giving in to such blatant lies, and stupid reasoning. Because one Senator proclaims one way of thinking, like Communism, to be un-American a witch haunt, like the one in Salem, was reborn again. Both tales I feel just show how gullible people can be when a figure head opens his/her mouth.
I don't want to give to much else away in case anyone else out there is reading, or going to see a production of "The Crucible." I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history or stories about human nature.