Salem Witch Trials 1692 -Battle between Lucifer and God– witchcraft and deals with the Devil were real to them -200 people were accused of witchcraft, 150 arrested, 19 hanged -Motivations: stealing land, revenge, etc
Arthur Miller (1915-2005) -Great American dramatist
Communism -Communism: a political philosophy and social movement that aims to create a society without classes or oppression. -Anti-communism spread after WWII, during the Cold War. -Fear of communism infiltrating the American government -USSR had repressive power in other countries at the time
The Second Red Scare -Increased fear of communist spies -Fear of atomic bombs -Fear of communists in America, especially with control over the media and/or government -Believed that American society would be destroyed by un-American thought -Blacklisted (put on a list that denied employment) many writers and entertainment professionals due to political associations, real or suspected -Arthur Miller was blacklisted
McCarthyism Senator Joseph McCarthy: claimed in 1950 that there were communists and Soviet spies in govt. Fueled fear and paranoia of communism McCarthyism- refers to reckless and unsubstantiated (without evidence) accusations
House Un-American Activities Committee and The Hollywood 10 -hearings concerning supposed communists -The “Hollywood Ten”= artists held in contempt of Congress for not answering the committee’s questions
-In his testimony, Miller refused to name anyone, saying “I could not use the name of another person and bring trouble on him.” -The HUAC hearings are often compared to the witch hunt in The Crucible.
The Crucible (1953) Setting: Small town– Salem, Massachusetts– in spring 1692 Allegory- an extended metaphor in which a person, abstract idea, or event stands for itself and for something else. -play is based on historical accounts of the witch trials, though some details have been changed