Mass hysteria occurs when several people begin to think in the same way. The group members all develop a common fear that often spirals into a panic. The group members feed off each other’s emotional reactions, causing the panic to escalate. How might theocracy lead to mass hysteria? Living such a strict life leads to feelings of being trapped You are worried that you will be caught for your sins so you blame it on others until everyone begins pointing fingers Can you think of any historical examples of Mass Hysteria?
Seemingly about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 Used trial documents (fictionalized) Combined, created or changed characters based upon historical figures Major trial events are relatively accurate Was and still is an exploration of mass hysteria, persecution and power dynamics. Concerned itself with historical events of the Witch Trials as they reflected what was occurring in the McCarthy Investigations of the 1950’s Criticized the McCarthy hearings of the 1950’s
1947 - House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry Number of writers, directors, and actors were accused of holding left-wing (therefore communist) views Ten people refused to answer the committee’s questions and became known as the Hollywood Ten Their refusal resulted in being blacklisted from work in motion pictures or television
1950, Joseph McCarthy, a Republican senator from Wisconsin, made a speech claiming to have a list of 205 people in the State Department that were known to be members of the American Communist Party Later he reduced this figure to 57 McCarthy began receiving information from his friend, J. Edgar Hoover, about other politicians (mainly Democrats) and government employees with suspected communist affiliations
For the next two years McCarthy's committee investigated various government departments and questioned a large number of people about their political past It became clear to witnesses that the only way of showing that they had abandoned their left-wing views was by naming other members of the “Communist Party”
1953 - McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military Known as the Army-McCarthy hearings Exposure helped illustrate the fear and suspicion that arose during this era. Anti-communist hysteria of the era became known as McCarthyism The McCarthy era of the Cold War is now thought of as America’s “Second Red Scare”
The Crucible explores the elements of McCarthyism through the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials occurred in 1692 when a group of young girls accused their neighbors of witchcraft http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU8GvfeaOMo&fe ature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU8GvfeaOMo&fe ature=related As we read The Crucible we will discuss the different possibilities for the Salem Witch Trials!
In what ways did people convey mass hysteria during “The Second Red Scare”? In what ways might we see people experiencing mass hysteria in The Crucible?