the crucible n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The Crucible PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The Crucible

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 18

The Crucible - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

The Crucible. By Arthur Miller. Background. The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller (October 17, 1915 - February 10, 2005) in 1953. Arthur Miller chronicled the dilemmas of common people pitted against powerful and unyielding social forces in many of his works. Background.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'The Crucible' - titus

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
the crucible

The Crucible

By Arthur Miller

  • The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller (October 17, 1915 - February 10, 2005) in 1953.
  • Arthur Miller chronicled the dilemmas of common people pitted against powerful and unyielding social forces in many of his works
  • The Crucible was written when fear of communism swept America. The fears were understandable (eastern Europe and China had recently fallen to Communism) but they were also exploited for political ends.
  • In Congress, a Republican senator named Joseph McCarthy leapt into the limelight when he charged that the State Department had been infiltrated by more than 200 communists.
  • Leading a Senate investigation, McCarthy repeatedly charged that individuals who opposed his hearings were themselves communists; then he investigated them.
  • The parallels between the events in Salem Village, as Miller depicts them, and ongoing events in Congress at the time Miller wrote the play are clear and deliberate.
  • The Crucible was not warmly received because of the blatant use of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 as a means of attacking the anti-communist “witch hunts” of Congress at that time.
  • Miller believed the hysteria surrounding the witchcraft trials in Puritan New England paralleled the contemporary climate of McCarthyism.
  • McCarthyism was the name given to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s obsessive quest to uncover Communist party infiltration of American institutions.
  • Arthur Miller described his perceptions of the atmosphere during the McCarthy era and the way in which those perceptions influenced the writing of The Crucible. He said, “It was as though the whole country had been born,
  • …anew, without a memory even of certain elemental decencies which a year or two earlier no one would have imagined could be altered, let alone forgotten. Astounded, I watched men pass me by without a nod whom I had known rather well for years; and again, the astonishment was produced by my knowledge, which I could not give up, that the terror in these people was being knowingly…
  • …planned and consciously engineered, and yet that all they knew was terror. That so interior and subjective an emotion could have been so manifestly created from without was a marvel to me. It underlies every word in The Crucible.”
  • During the two years after the publication of The Crucible, Arthur Miller was investigated for possible associations with the Communist party.
  • In 1692, the British colony of Massachusetts was swept by a witchcraft hysteria that resulted in the execution of 20 people and jailing of at least 150 others.
  • This incident was not isolated, it is estimated that during the 16th and 17th centuries between 1 and 9 million Europeans were accused of being witches and then executed.
  • Many of the people accused of witchcraft were merely practicing folk customs that had survived in Europe since pre-Christian times.
  • For the New England colonies the witchcraft episode was unusual, though perhaps inevitable. The colonists endured harsh conditions and punishing hardship in their lives.
  • Finding themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control (bitter weather, sickness and death, devastating fires, drought, and insect infestations that killed their crops) many colonists attributed their misfortunes to the devil.
  • They were a fearful, some would say paranoid, people and their Puritan faith stressed the biblical teaching that witches were real and dangerous.
  • In the small parish of Salem Village, many were quick to blame witchcraft when the minister’s daughter and several other girls were afflicted by seizures and lapses into unconsciousness.
  • Especially after it was learned that the girls had been dabbling in fortunetelling with the minister’s slave, Tituba (they were not dancing in the woods as portrayed in the play).
  • At first, only Tituba and two elderly women were called witches, but then the hunt spread until some of the colony’s most prominent citizens stood accused.
  • Many historians have seen a pattern of social and economic animosity behind the accusations, but most feel that mass hysteria was also a strong contributing factor.
  • When The Crucible was first published, Miller mentioned a few things about the play’s historical accuracy:
    • For dramatic purposes sometimes many characters must be fused into one
    • The number of girls involved in the ‘crying-out’ has been reduced.
    • Abigail’s age has been raised.
    • There were several judges of almost equal authority, but in the story they are symbolized in Hathorne and Danforth
  • An extended metaphor is a comparison that is developed throughout the course of a literary work. Miller’s imagery of the 17th century witch hunt in Salem builds a comparison to the events of the McCarthy era, a time characterized by these intensified emotions:
    • Fear of communism, and a widespread hysteria that Communists had infiltrated the State Dept.
    • Panic based on witch hunt tactics – those who opposed McCarthy’s hearings were charged with Communism themselves
  • Dialogue – is crucial in drama because much of what is learned about characters, setting, & events is revealed in dialogue
  • Stage Directions – these notes convey information about sound effects, movement & gestures, setting, and line readings to the cast, crew, and reader; they are usually in italic type to distinguish them from dialogue
  • Exposition – the opening segment that introduces the characters, setting, situation, and other details crucial to understanding the work
  • Allusion – a brief reference within a work to something outside the work. Usually it relates to one of the following: another literary work, a place, a well-known person, a historical event. Look for biblical allusions within The Crucible.
  • Verbal Irony – occurs when a character says one thing but means something quite different
  • Dramatic Irony – is the contradiction between what a character thinks and what the audience knows to be true
  • Logical Fallacy – an idea or argument that appears logical though it is based on a completely faulty premise