A crucible is a place or occasion of severe test or trial.
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This is a very involved question. I think you should begin by reading through the themes for the novel and possibly checking out Gradesaver's "about" page. if you have any further, more specific questions, feel free to come back and ask them here.
Read through the Gradesaver's "about" page. If you have any more questions, come back and ask them...we'll be here