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Arthur Miller and the Red Scare Introduction to The Crucible: Part Two.

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Presentation on theme: "Arthur Miller and the Red Scare Introduction to The Crucible: Part Two."— Presentation transcript:

1 Arthur Miller and the Red Scare Introduction to The Crucible: Part Two

2 OBJECTIVES I will be able: Examine the features of communism and the Red Scare in the United States Assess Arthur Miller’s authorial intent Evaluate the relationship between the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare

3 The Lives of Others Describe the society of East Germany in the early 1980s. What would be the possible problems with this type of society?

4 Crash Course: Capitalism and Communism Features of Capitalism System of government is democratic Property is privately owned Driven by free enterprise Wealth distributed unevenly

5 Features of Capitalism Education and health care provided by private entities Class distinctions: upper class, middle class and working class Freedom of the press Focus is on the individual and his/her own progress in life

6 Features of Communism: System of government is totalitarian Property is owned by the state No free enterprise is allowed Wealth distributed equally

7 Features of Communism: Education and health care provided by the state Press controlled and owned by the state Classless society: all members of society are considered to be equal Focus is on the progress of the community as a whole

8 The Cold War After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the world’s superpowers. They soon became embroiled in what is known as the Cold War. The Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) was trying to influence countries in Eastern Europe and around the world to become Communist. The United States was trying to influence countries in Western Europe and around the world to become Capitalists.

9 STOP COMMUNISM AT HOME! Many Americans were afraid that America was going to become Communist. Others were afraid that there were Communist spies in America trying to steal America’s secrets!

10 Capitalist vs. Communism

11 Containment The U.S. wanted to stop the spread of Communism at home and abroad so they developed a new policy called Containment. The idea was to “contain” communism and not let it spread to any more areas in the world. If you were the U.S. government how would you contain communism?

12 Propaganda against Communism What is this poster trying to say about Communism?

13 Joseph McCarthy Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin started a hunt to find Communists in America. His goal was to put people that supported Communism in jail, or get them fired from their jobs.

14 Joseph McCarthy McCarthy said he had a list of people that were Communists. Many on the list were actors, politicians, and business leaders! McCarthy investigated various government departments and questioned a large number of people about their political past. Some people lost their jobs after they admitted they had been members of the Communist Party. McCarthy made it clear to the witnesses that the only way of showing that they had abandoned their left-wing views was by naming other members of the party.

15 McCarthyism and the Red Scare This hunt and anti-communist hysteria became known as McCarthyism or the “Red Scare.” McCarthy promoted unfounded accusations and suspicions of communism in many quarters, most prominently within the entertainment industry through the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

16 McCarthyism and the Red Scare HUAC investigated communism within Hollywood, calling a number of playwrights, directors and actors known for left-wing views to testify. Some of these, including film director Elia Kazan, testified for the committee to avoid prison sentences, but the Hollywood Ten, a group of entertainers, refused to testify and were convicted of contempt and sentenced to up to one year in prison.

17 McCarthyism and the Red Scare Over three hundred other entertainers were placed on a blacklist for possible communist views and were thus forbidden to work for major Hollywood studios (many of these were writers who worked under pseudonyms at the time). Arthur Miller was one of the blacklisted artists.

18 McCarthy’s Fall McCarthy was not being truthful. He fabricated most, if not all, of the list. He was eventually caught and was forced to leave the Senate. However, he destroyed many people’s lives. Why do you think he was so successful?

19 Arthur Miller Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915 in New York City to Jewish immigrants. H is 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.

20 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”, initiated and 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.

21 Definition: Crucible (n) 1) A severe test of patience or belief; a trial. 2)A place, time, or situation in which powerful intellectual, social, economic, or political forces meet. 3)A metal container used to heat material to a very high temperature. 4)A hollow area at the bottom of a furnace where metal collects.

22 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.” He was called upon to testify before the Committee on Un-American Activities, but refused to “name names.” He was convicted of contempt of Congress in 1956. The conviction was overturned by a higher court in 1958.

23 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.”

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