Arthur Miller and the Red Scare. Introduction to The Crucible: Part Two. OBJECTIVES. I will be able: Examine the features of communism and the Red Scare in the United States Assess Arthur Miller ’ s authorial intent
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I will be able:
Describe the society of East Germany in the early 1980s. What would be the possible problems with this type of society?
Features of Capitalism
Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915 in New York City to Jewish immigrants. His father owned a women's clothing manufacturing business employing 400 people. But in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the family lost nearly everything and moved to Queens.
Miller began writing at a very early age and by the time he graduated from the University of Michigan, he had begun to receive recognition as a playwright.
His play All My Sons (1947) received the Drama Critics’ Circle Award and his play Death of a Salesman (1949) won the Pulitzer Prize.
In 1953, Miller wrote The Crucible. Miller was concerned about what was happening in the United States where the “Red Scare”, initiatedand fueled by Senator Joe McCarthy, had Americans frightened of their neighbours.
In order to vocalize his criticism, he selected an era in America history — the Salem Witch trials of 1692 —which he believed paralleled the McCarthy era.
Miller was refused a passport by the State Department to attend the opening of The Crucible in Brussels in 1954. The reason given was, “the applicant was suspected of being a supporter of the Communist movement.”
Miller’s characters struggle with power conflicts, personal and social responsibility, the repercussions of past actions, and the conflict between hope and guilt. He once said he believed theater has a unique ability to “change the world.”