1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 91 and 92: The Crucible and A View From The Bridge, by Arthur Miller

The Crucible: A play about a witch hunt meant to parallel the McCarthy witch hunt that sought to find all communists in America and put them in jail if they didn’t name names. The protagonist, like Miller, who was called before the House of Un-American Activities, refused to name names. The play comes across as a little heavy handed when read in the context of the McCarthy trials, but it has a more human face when read as an examination of ones own right to judge their own sins. Miller suggests that we answer to our own personal moral codes, rather than the ones laid out by society. It has its moments.

A View From The Bridge: There is a man (Eddie), and his wife (Beatrice), and an orphaned girl who is niece to the wife (Catherine) who serves as the surrogate daughter to the childless couple (childless because they are sexless). Then there are two illegal immigrants who move in, one of whom (Rodolpho) romances Catherine. Eddie is not a fan of the fair-haired romantic and here is where things get complicated. Eddie, in my readings, is a closeted homosexual (he hasn’t had sex with his wife in months and keeps projecting homosexual tendencies onto Catherine’s love interested), and claims that the Rodolpho is gay because he didn’t throw Eddie off of him when he pinned him down and kissed him. Most readings I’ve found online however, imply that Eddie has an unhealthy sexual attraction to Catherine, but it seems clear to me that his attraction is not to Catherine at all, but rather to Rodolpho. Regardless of what Eddie’s orientation, the play ends in tragedy, even though it has the plot outline of a comedy (desperate situation resolved by a wedding, yeay clichés).

 

Both are worth a read.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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