The Crucible An Introduction
Clip # 1 1. What evidence is presented to “prove” that the woman is a witch? 2. Would this evidence hold up in a court today? 3. What is the purpose of this clip? 4. What does the clip prove about “witch hunts”?
Witch Hunt Colloquial term for finding a Scapegoat: (One who is the object of irrational hostility)
20th Century Drama • Entertainment vs. Intellectualism • Modern Dramatists • Lorraine Hansberry • Arthur Miller • 3 Elements of modern drama • Realistic characters • Realistic dialogue • Controversial issues
Arthur Miller • Author of… • Inspired by…
McCarthy Era • McCarthy Hearings • The Threat of Communism “Red Scare”
After Wwii • Cold War Develops b/t • Soviet Union and United States • Stand off • Nuclear threats • Italy had a fast growing communist party • 1949 • Mao Zedong Overthrew US-Supported government in China
McCarthy—Wisconsin Senator (1946-1957) • 1950 • McCarthy claims Communists had infiltrated department of state • Paranoia spreads • American dream is threatened • McCarthy claims Hollywood is influence by communism and is spreading propaganda • McCarthy’s “Witch Hunt” begins
Witch Hunt • Begin as early as 1480 in Europe as the reformation begins in Europe • MP clip • Involves moral panic, mass hysteria, lack of reason, and lynching • Modern witch hunts are more FIGURATIVE… • Metaphor for political persecution
McCarthy’s Witch hunt • Political persecution of anyone associated with Communism—in actuality or imagined • Film industry workers—subpoenaed to reveal names of the subversive people • Government officials charged • Secretary of the Navy accused of harboring Communist spies • Anyone names suspect was blacklisted • Can’t find work—fate worse than death?
Miller’s Inspiration • All of this inspired Arthur Miller in his writing • Death of a Salesman: • Receives a Pulitzer in 1949 • Movie version produced 1950-1951 • American Legion protests • Miller asked to sign anti-communist declaration; refuses • Columbia produces a short version, changing the message • The Crucible • Produced in 1953 • Miller becomes the subject of FBI investiations
The Crucible • Set during the time of the Salem Witch Trials • Meant to send a message to the world about the Communist Witch Hunts • Based on historical fact • Changed to fit the purpose of the play
Given what you know about the Salem Witch trials and the McCarthy Era… • What happens when the American dream/cultural lifestyle is threatened?
Cast ACT 1 • Reverend Samuel Parris/ Stage Directions • Betty Parris/ Stage Directions • Abigail Williams/ Stage Directions • Susanna Walcott/ Stage Directions • Tituba/ Stage Directions • Thomas Putnam/ Stage Directions • Mrs. Ann Putnam/ Stage Directions • Mercy Lewis/ Stage Directions • Mary Warren/ Stage Directions • John Proctor/ Stage Directions • John Hale/ Stage Directions • Giles Corey/ Stage Directions • Rebecca Nurse/ Stage Directions • Narrator 1 • Narrator 2 • Narrator 3 • Narrator 4 • Narrator 5