The Crucible Allegory

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The Crucible Allegory

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Activity Overview


When studying allegoric texts, it is important that students understand the concept of allegory as a foundation for the reading. Since an allegory's purpose is to add a deeper, symbolic meaning to the text, students must be able to define the term and spot the references in the work. Allegories like The Crucible hide a moral or political meaning, so it is important that students know the background before starting the play.

In The Crucible, Miller uses the mass hysteria and finger-pointing during the Salem Witch Trials as a comparison to the 'witch hunt' of the McCarthy Trials in the 1950s. In the play, Miller creates many parallels between the hunt for witches and the hunt for communists. For example, during the McCarthy Trials, the accused person would be shown leniency if they gave the names of other conspirators. This meant they often would give up names of people who weren't communists, just so they could escape harsh punishments and fines. In 1692 during the Salem witch trials, people also gave false witness to escape being punished. Those who confessed had their lives spared. Miller expounds his viewpoints through the use of these parallels.

Ask students to create a storyboard that shows the multiple parallels between the text and its allegorical reference. Be sure to check out our lesson on allegory!


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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows examples of allegory in The Crucible.


  1. Identify instances of allegory in the text.
  2. Depict and describe the example of allegory from the text on the left side.
  3. Depict and describe the reference to the larger issue or event on the right side.
Allegorical Reference - Worksheet

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