The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Crucible: A severe test. Several Characters in this story face a severe test (test of ones beliefs and values.) Journal Prompt: Write about a severe test you have faced in your life. Fact or Fiction. Puritanism.
Crucible: A severe test Several Characters in this story face a severe test (test of ones beliefs and values.) Journal Prompt: Write about a severe test you have faced in your life.
Puritanism • Believed in a strong connection between church and state (theocracy) • Believed in a Covenant with God and with each other to follow moral codes in pursuit of eternal life • Believed in Predestination (only the elect would be saved) • Believed God and Satan were active presences in the natural world
In church, the minister would deliver an emotional sermon that could last for two, three, even four hours at a time without restroom breaks or intermissions. The Puritans listened intently to the terrible warnings of sin and punishment. • Church Deacons kept strict order in the church. Using a "staff," deacons would poke anyone misbehaving in church. • Churches were unheated and for many months of the year and in the winter were unbearably cold. Women carried small foot-stoves from home full of hot coals which were used to warm their feet during the church service. The Puritans--Lifestyle
Puritanism … • Believed Native Americans were heathens and the woods and forests full of demons • Believed in mandatory attendance at church • Believed that people were expected to work hard and repress emotions and opinions • The church dictated that dark, somber dress was appropriate
Puritanism … • Read natural signs to see God’s will or Satan’s tricks (when a neighbor’s crop failed or a child became sick, saw it as God’s will and did not help) • Believed Satan selected the “weakest”—women, children and the insane to carry out his work. • Believed those who followed Satan were considered witches • Punished witchcraft by death
Witch Trials in Europe As early as 1450, witch hunts all over Europe Many thousands were hanged, drowned or burned at the stake Women were viewed as “imperfect” as they were formed from a man’s rib whereas men were the privileged sex (Christ--a male) Popular view of women was source of witch hunt hysteria…seen as inherently evil and sexual—thus targets for the devil
Salem Witch Trials Possibly the single, most studied event in colonial American history Fear of magic and witchcraft was common in New England, as it had been in Europe Over 100 alleged witches had been tried and hanged in New England during the 1600s In early 1692, the witch hunt hysteria began in Salem
Salem Witch Trials … From early spring to September 1692, over 150 “witches” were taken into custody 19 men and women refused to confess and were hanged on Gallows Hill One man was pressed to death under stones Four died in jail
Ways to Determine a Witch Devils Mark Swimming a Witch: It was believed that water rejected servants of the devil and that if a suspected person floated and refused to sink when placed in water it was proof of guilt. Torture
Spectral Evidence Evidence only the accuser can see. This type of evidence was very popular in the Salem Witch Trials because the girls would “see” their accuser flying over barns or flying out windows. But it was ONLY the person that was accusing someone of witchcraft could see them do these things.
The Crucible: by Arthur Miller Written in 1953. Story is based on actual facts.
Arthur Mille wrote the play The Crucible. • The play is a fictional recreation of the Salem witch trials, their origins, a psychological investigation of the act of persecution, and McCarthyism. The Crucible
Arthur Miller • Born 1915-wrote many plays and stories • 1947- “All My Sons” • 1949- “Death of a Salesman” (Won a Pullitzer Prize) • 1953- “The Crucible” • 1955 – “A View from the Bridge • Married Marilyn Monroe-his second wife
Joseph McCarthy Senator in the 1950’s Claimed State Dept. had communists (FDR, Truman) Attracted a very large following Caused for the formation of the “Un-American Activities Committee” to investigate people suspected of Communism. Believed theatre/film industry had many communists
The Hollywood Blacklist The Salem Witch Trials really did happen, but Arthur Miller used a more recent example from American history as the basis for The Crucible: McCarthyism. In the 1950’s many famous people were accused of being Communists and were called to testify: Lucille Ball ("I Love Lucy"), Ronald Reagan (though he became a "friendly witness" and named names of those he reportedly saw at Communist meetings), Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, and of course, Arthur Miller.
McCarthy Communism: is the belief that the person who is productive is most important (everyone works for government and paid equally). Because Arthur Miller often focused on the concern for the fate of the common man in his works, he was linked to communism. Many people were subpoenaed and questioned on live television. Because of this publicity, even if an individual was found innocent, the accusation in itself ruined their reputation. Arthur Miller wrote “The Crucible” as retaliation for his playwright friends who were being accused of communism.
“McCarthyism” Joseph McCarthy and his highly publicized attacks, usually based on ridiculous charges, was a way to discredit someone What do you think the connection is between the McCarthy Trials and the Salem Witch Trials?
Setting of The Crucible What does Realm of the Devil mean? • Salem, Massachusetts • 1692. • A small town surrounded by forests. • The forests were considered the “Realm of the Devil” in Colonial America.
The Motive for Accusing Others Vengeance-public confession ruined a person’s reputation. GREED! Jealousy over land ownership
Literary Terms Antecedent Action: Action that takes place before the scene begins. Motives of Characters: reasons for a character’s actions Tragic Hero: bring about his own downfall Hamartia: Greek word for “tragic flaw” Protagonist: hero of the story Antagonist: villain or force against whom/which the hero struggles