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The Puritans and The Crucible

The Puritans and The Crucible

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The Puritans and The Crucible

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  1. The Puritans and The Crucible

  2. Puritan Agenda: • They wanted to reform their national church by eliminating every shred of Catholic influence • Their attempt to “purify” the Church of England and their own lives • Left for the new world in 1620 to escape religious persecution and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

  3. Puritan Beliefs: • The Puritan community was a theocracy, a government which blends church and state. The church’s officials were the government’s officials. Thus, church and state were not separate. • Puritans were expected to live by a strict moral code • All sins – from sleeping in church to stealing food – should be punished • God would punish sinful behavior

  4. Puritan Beliefs Continued: • When a neighbor would suffer misfortune, such as a sick child or failed crop, Puritans saw it as God’s will and did not help • The Devil was as real as God

  5. Puritan Beliefs Continued: • Satan would select the weakest individuals – women, kids, insane – to carry out his work • Those who followed Satan were witches • Witchcraft was the greatest crime - punishable by death

  6. Puritan Lifestyle: • Church was the foundation of Puritan life • It was against the law NOT to attend church • People were expected to work hard and repress their emotions & opinions

  7. Puritan Lifestyle Continued: • Individual differences were frowned upon • The clothing was dark & somber and dictated by the church • Children were expected to behave under the same strict codes as the adults • Doing chores • Attending church • Repress individual differences

  8. Puritan Lifestyle Continued: • Any show of emotion (excitement, anger) was discouraged and disobedience was severely punished • Children rarely played • Puritans saw toys & games as sinful distractions

  9. Puritan Lifestyle Continued: • Boys practiced carpentry skills and explored the outdoors (hunting/fishing) • Girls were expected to tend to the house, helping mothers cook, wash, clean, & sew • Many children learned to read, but households owned only the Bible and other religious works

  10. Salem Witch Trials 1692

  11. How it started: • Betty Parris became strangely ill. She dashed about, dove under furniture, contorted in pain, and complained of fever. The cause of her symptoms may have been some combination of stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse, epilepsy, and delusional psychosis. • Talk of witchcraft increased when other playmates of Betty, including eleven-year-old Ann Putnam, seventeen-year-old Mercy Lewis, and Mary Walcott, began to exhibit similar unusual behavior. • A doctor called to examine the girls, suggested that the girls' problems might have a supernatural origin. The widespread belief that witches targeted children made the doctor's diagnosis seem increasingly likely.

  12. Causes of Witchcraft Hysteria: • Strong belief that Satan is acting in the world • Disease, natural catastrophes, bad fortune • A belief that Satan actively recruits witches and wizards • A belief that a person afflicted by witchcraft exhibits certain symptoms • A time of troubles, making it seem likely that Satan was active • Congregational strife in Salem Village • Frontier wars with Indians • Stimulation of imaginations by Tituba • Teenage boredom • Confessing “witches” adding credibility to earlier charges • Old feuds (disputes within congregation, property disputes) between the accusers and the accused spurring charges of witchcraft.

  13. The Crucible Arthur Miller First Performed in 1953

  14. Characters: • John Proctor : • Local farmer; stern, harsh-tongued man; hates hypocrisy • Abigail Williams: • Rev. Parris’s niece; only servant for the Proctors; smart, good liar, vindictive when crossed • Elizabeth Proctor: • John’s wife; fired Abigail; supremely virtuous, but cold • Rev. Parris: • Minister of Salem’s church; paranoid, power-hungry; many people hate him; he is concerned about building his position in society

  15. Characters: • Rev. John Hail: • Young minister and expert on witchcraft; critical and intelligent mind • Rebecca Nurse: • Wise, sensible woman; liked by all in the community • Francis Nurse: • Rebecca’s husband; wealthy, influential man; respected by most, but an enemy of Thomas Putnam • Thomas Putnam: • Wealthy, influential man; holds a grudge against Francis Nurse; wants land

  16. Characters: • Ann Putnam: • Thomas’s wife; has given birth to eight children, but only Ruth survived • Judge Danforth: • Deputy Governor of MA and judge at the witch trials, believes he is doing what is right for Salem • Giles Corey: • Elderly but feisty farmer; famous for his tendency to file lawsuits • Ruth Putnam: • Lone surviving child of the Putnam’s; falls into a strange daze after being caught dancing

  17. Characters: • Tituba: • Rev. Parris’s black slave from Barbados; agrees to perform voodoo • Mary Warren: • Servant in Putman’s household; timid; easily influenced by those around her • Betty Parris: • Rev. Parris’s 10-year-old daughter; falls into strange daze after being caught dancing • Martha Corey: • Giles Corey’s third wife; her reading habits are frowned upon by the church/community

  18. Characters: • Ezekiel Cheever: • man from Salem who acts as clerk of the court during the witch trials; determined to do his duty for justice • Mercy Lewis: • One of the girls in Abigail’s group • Herrick: • The marshal of Salem • Judge Hathorne: • A judge who preside, along with Danforth, over the witch trials