Presentation on theme: "Humanities Meeting 6 Tosspon (of awesomeness… and doom)"— Presentation transcript:
Humanities Meeting 6 Tosspon (of awesomeness… and doom)
Agenda The Hunger Games Chpts –Ashley, Angie, Brandy, Mindy The Crucible –History –Art –Drama –Literature –The Play! –The Movie!
Who are these people and what do you think is happening? Image Reproduced Courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts Illustration (Neg# 19927), "Arresting a Witch" Jot some notes about: clothing, items, setting, facial expressions, and lifestyle. What careers do you think these characters have?
Now look at the title of the illustration. Is this what you thought the illustration was all about? Who are these people and what do you think is happening? Image Reproduced Courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts Illustration, "Arresting a Witch"
THE CRUCIBLE Historical Context and Literary Merit
Arthur Miller - “this play is not history” Dependent on historical events for its story. –Changed names, ages, and combined people to reduce character #’s Two periods of American history. 17 th century Salem Witch Trials McCarthyism and the RED SCARE of the 1950s. –History is cyclical and repeats itself. –He claims that McCarthyism was nothing more than a modern-day WITCH HUNT.
PURITAN LIFE AND RELIGION Protestant Religious group from England Migrated to avoid Church of England influence The Puritans were pilgrims, but not all pilgrims were Puritans. Settled in towns in coastal Massachusetts just slightly north of Boston.
The Puritan Way: Protestant Reformation Rejected the rituals and extravagant buildings of the major denominations in Europe. Emphasized individual conscience before God Rejected the dogmas of organized religion. Led by John Locke ( ) Rejected the rituals and extravagant buildings of the major denominations in Europe. Emphasized individual conscience before God Rejected the dogmas of organized religion. Led by John Locke ( ) “Separatists” reject the organized denominations' claims of authority. Church of England Separatists made up one small group, which began breaking away as early as the 16th Century. Presbyterian Church –Also Baptists. Every denomination in Europe hated and persecuted the Puritans.
Chosen by God for a special purpose. Must live every moment in a God-fearing manner. The Sabbath Required to read the Bible –it was thought that they were worshiping the devil. No labor, not even sewing, could be done on Sabbath. –food had to be cooked and clothes ready day before! The Sabbath began at sundown the night before, and the evening was spent in prayer and Bible study. The Puritan Way: Religion
The Puritan Way: Strict Order Church = small bare building. Men sat on one side, the women sat on the other –The boys sat together in a designated pew where they were expected to sit in complete silence. Deacons, front row below the pulpit –the first pew was the one of highest dignity. Servants and slaves near the door, into a loft, or a balcony. The Service Minister’s prayer, 1 hr NO music or Celebrating
Strict Order in the Church After the prayer A 2-4 hour emotional sermon –without restroom breaks or intermissions. –Full of terrible warnings of sin and punishment. Deacons poke anyone misbehaving with a staff. Unheated churches
Puritans: Salem Witch Trials NOT TYPICAL –In 400+ years of Puritan history only two such incidents. In Europe such trials were common. –All religions “hunted” witches
Puritan intolerance: Intolerance for others/beliefs freedom of religion? –Only when Roman Catholics in Pennsylvania called for it
Salem, Massachusetts and the History of Witchcraft Salem, Mass. in Actually occurred in “Salem Village” –(Danvers, then a parish of Salem Town).
Witchcraft in Salem Residents of Salem Village believed in witches and in witchcraft. Witchcraft was “entering into a compact with the devil in exchange for certain powers to do evil.” Witchcraft = a sin and a crime;
Witchcraft in Salem, 1692 Reverend Samuel Parris’s daughter and Abigail Williams started having fits of convulsion, screaming, and hallucination. A doctor examined the girls and concluded that the only explanation for these bizarre behaviors was witchcraft.
Witchcraft in Salem A recently published book of the time detailed the symptoms of witchcraft; the girls’ fits were much like those described in the book. Therefore, the Puritans of Salem were quick to believe the doctor’s diagnosis.
Witchcraft in Salem The girls pointed fingers at Tituba (the Parris’ slave), Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn, which sparked a witch hunt.
Witchcraft Trials in Salem 8 months of terror –150+ people imprisoned –27 people convicted –19 hanged –1 pressed to death. Most accused were women. –Healers, and used plants to heal people. –without family, and this made them easy targets. People who did not fit in with the mainstream Hysteria Snowballed
Evidence? “spectral evidence.”“spectral evidence.” –If someone said they had seen the accused with the devil in a dream, or that the accused had visited them in the night, or had hurt them, it was taken as evidence that the devil was at work.
Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” during the 1950s - the Communist hysteria of the era. People thought there were “Commies” everywhere Senator Joseph McCarthy HOUSE UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE (HUAC)
The Crucible’s Literary Merit: Important Concepts PROTEST LITERATURE: (n) literature with a specific political or social aim, an intention to raise awareness or bring about change. (Merriam-Webster on-line) Arthur Miller’s intention was to emphasize the injustice of the McCarthy trials by relating them to a time in history that everyone accepts as morally and legally unjust. ALLEGORY: (n) the expression, by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions, of truths or generalizations about human existence. (Merriam-Webster on-line) Arthur Miller wrote the play as a political and social allegory for McCarthyism. His characters and events represent historical truths.
Analysis of “The Crucible” Analysis of Title Tone Point of View Language Setting Character Theme Analyzing Drama
What does “The crucible” mean? Crucible = 1.a vessel of a very refractory material (as porcelain) used for melting and calcining a substance that requires a high degree of heat 2.a severe test 3.a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development The title is a metaphor for the a container full of violent reactions, like Salem, or 50’s America!
Towards the subject of witch trials and witch-hunts, and towards the characters that perpetuate them, is unequivocally critical. He is sympathetic towards individual characters who are the victims, such as the Proctors or Rebecca Nurse. Tone
Point of View Third person omniscient inserts himself into the play –describe characters –tell us what we should think about them Judge Hathorne is a bitter man. In addition, each inserted stage direction indicates exactly what a character is thinking or feeling. The narrator is able to jump into any character’s mind at any given moment.
Language Convincingly old fashioned, without being hard to understand. –Carries echoes of the King James Bible Vocabulary is essentially modern –apart from a few archaic terms ‑ 'harlot' and 'poppet‘ Linking words in an unusual way, using double negatives, changing verb tenses, and other devices of the same kind. Here are some examples: “He cannot discover no medicine for it in his books;” “I know you have not opened with me;” “Seeing I do live so closely with you, they dismissed it;” “I am thirty ‑ three time in court in my life;” “He give me nine pound damages;” “You wonder yet if rebellion's spoke?” Menu next
Setting Salem, Massachusetts, Puritans: believed in black-and-white lines between good and evil. –The powers of darkness were real forces to them, which could wreak havoc and destruction on society if unleashed. –“Theocracy,” God was the true leader of society, and he expressed his will through the actions of men and women. Strict religious theology became twisted and led to the death of innocent people.
Assignment: Character Use the handout Research – your character! –Who are you in the play –Who was your character in real life?
Theme A theme is an idea developed or explored throughout a text.
Assignment: Themes Read your theme packet. Individuals each take notes. After each paragraph, discuss with group. –Each person say at least 1 thing they learned or found interesting. Analyze – what did you learn from this? –How do you use quotes to prove a point?
Themes The individual v. authority The individual v. authority Themes Fear Integrity Mass hysteria The corruption of justice Click on the theme you wish to explore Main Menu
The individual v. authority John and Rebecca are not standing up for individual rights Salem villagers believe in witches & infallibility of the Bible. What the victims oppose is the abuse of power. Religion: Protestant Reformation = theocratic ('god ‑ ruled') system. –Laws based on the authority of the Bible –The Church used them to control every aspect of people's lives. Modern idea: religious belief is a matter of private conscience would have been considered blasphemous. 17 th C New England moving towards a more tolerant and diversified society –change stirred up great social tensions. Menu next
The individual v. authority cont… The Reformation had made people more responsible for their own salvation. It substituted public disapproval for the penances of the Catholic Church. Yet the wealthier frequently escaped punishment. Why? In The Crucible, Mrs Putnam is never disciplined for using witchcraft to find out who 'killed' her babies. In Act 1 (pp. 33 ‑ 5, ‘I have trouble enough... He says there's a party), John Proctor shows his resentment when Parris criticizes his infrequent church attendance. He is absent for practical reasons ‑ Elizabeth's illness, his own work, and no doubt the ten ‑ mile walk. He feels Parris does not deserve respect. Rebecca, more obedient, knows that Parris is unworthy, but is still shocked by John's remarks (p. 35). Reverend Hale later reprimands him for daring to question Parris's God ‑ given authority (p. 63). back next
The individual v. authority cont… Act 2 demonstrates the helplessness of people who try to stand up for their rights in a theocratic state. Once the witch hunt has started, the potential for conflict escalates. Anyone who doubts the so ‑ called evidence is questioning God's will. The judges' handling of the trial relates more to corruption of justice. They cling so inflexibly to their point of view that law ‑ abiding characters like Rebecca and Francis Nurse are pushed into defiance. Even Hale, an establishment figure, finds he is unable to ignore his conscience. He finally denounces the court. Those whose honesty is stronger than their fear of death inevitably destroy themselves. Rebecca refuses to damn her soul with a lie; Giles values his land more than his life, and willingly accepts a horrible death. back menu
Fear Fear is a dominant emotion in The Crucible. Mr Parris is afraid that his rebellious parishioners will use Betty's strange illness to oust him from his position; Abigail fears that Reverend Hale will find out what she did in the forest; so she embarks on an elaborate hoax that almost destroys the village. Ashamed to confess his affair with Abigail, John Proctor speaks up too late. This is only to say that the villagers of Salem are like people everywhere - they have secrets to hide and worry about their reputations. The unique feature that drew Miller to Salem was the fear that erupted there in Puritans believed that the Devil was constantly working to tempt human beings away from God. At the end of the play, Tituba is waiting for Satan to transport her to the singin'and dancinin Barbados (p. 108). All other references to witchcraft are connected with fear, suspicion, and the collapse of normal social values. The stricken community can no longer defend itself or protect vulnerable individuals. Menu next
Fear cont… There are two types of accusation in the play. The first comes from characters seeking revenge or exploiting the panic for personal gain. Others pass on the blame for their misfortunes, but they are not necessarily malicious. Irrational fear deludes them into believing whatever they are told. (No one ever stops to ask why Rebecca should want to harm Mrs Putnam's babies.) Think of examples of these types of behaviour. In both the McCarthy trials and the Salem witch-hunt, victims could escape punishment if they denounced others. Tituba is the first to be interrogated. Mr Putnam's threat of hanging produces the desired answer, and thereafter the demoralized slave repeats any names suggested to her. Miller builds a prolonged scene around this minor character to show exactly how the prosecutors went about their business. Tituba represents all that were terrified into naming the 'witches'. back next
Fear cont… The pressures of irrational fear are most vividly illustrated in their effects on Mary Warren. Mary is terrified from the moment she steps inside the court, but she bears up well under cross-examination. Encouraged by Proctor, she refuses to withdraw her claim that the girls are fraudulent, even when bullied by Judge Hathorne. Yet she begins to crumple as soon as Abigail sets the girls loose on her. Within minutes, Mary is caught up in their hysteria and she disintegrates. In her final moments on stage, she rushes for protection to the very person responsible for her ordeal. back next
The Corruption of Justice A fair trial in Salem is made impossible by the close links between church and State. Those who interpret God's laws do not imagine themselves capable of human error. As a clergyman in a theocratic society (one where the church writes the laws), Mr Hale is allowed to speak on behalf of the state, although he has no legal training. Reverend Hale discovers the first Witch - Tituba - without any judicial enquiry at all. It is through him that Abigail and her followers become linked to the court as official witch-finders. “The entire contention of the state... is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children,” Danforth tells Proctor. Yet the haphazard nature of the accusations leaves them wide open to abuse by people like Thomas Putnam. Menu next
Corruption of Justice cont.. During the trials, Danforth manipulates both defendants and legal procedure to suit his purpose. He never attempts to look at probabilities, or weigh the defendants' motives. He allows Hathorne to score points based on sheer verbal trickery – “How do you know, then, that you are not a witch?” Danforth does the same himself when he entraps Elizabeth into lying to save her husband's reputation. He also uses leading questions to get the answers that suit him (though not always successfully). The greatest injustice in the whole conduct of the witch trials is that the inquisitors offer a reprieve to those that confess, provided they name other suspects. Proctor points out the obvious consequences to Hale, but the minister refuses to face the truth. So the witch-hunt swells to an enormous size and infects other parts of the province. The nightmare only ends when the whole community is on the brink of revolt. back menu
Mass Hysteria Mass hysteria does not have to involve hysterical behaviour in the ordinary sense. The phrase describes what happens when the same strong emotion grips a large group of people. Most of us have experienced it in milder forms. When we cheer on our favourite team, or go 'clubbing', feeling part of the crowd intensifies our emotion. There is another side to the phenomenon. When fear and prejudice spread through a community, they become self reinforcing and their effect on individuals is enormously magnified. In The Crucible, the behaviour of both adolescents and adults is a powerful demonstration of this reality. Everything happens against a background of ongoing quarrels that have never been settled. In Act 1, several random circumstances combine to provoke the disaster. The girls' reaction when their expedition to the forest is found out leads to the suspicion of witchcraft; Mr Hale is eager to try out his skills; Mrs Putnam has never stopped grieving for her dead babies, and uses the crisis to find a scapegoat. Menu next
Mass Hysteria cont… The people of Salem are possessed, not by demons but by Mass Hysteria. By the end of Act 1, the adults have succumbed to their fear that the Devil and his witches are trying to destroy Salem. The only two strong enough to resist - Rebecca and John Proctor have left the stage. This is the first of the play's biting ironies: the people who are possessed are not the innocent victims, but the accusers (and later, the judges), who all fall prey to the hysteria created by Abigail. Once the hysteria is established, it triggers almost every incident in the play. We know that common sense has lost when we hear about the arrest of so widely respected a person as Rebecca Nurse. back next
Mass Hysteria cont… The girls' unpredictable behaviour is both a symbol of the hysteria infecting society and a dramatization of that hysteria in action. So, too, is the gullibility of the adults who swallow the girls' accusations. Notice how skilfully Miller leads up to his two scenes of 'possession', the first engineered by Abigail to save her own skin, and the second a full-blown demonstration of mass hysteria in action. At the end of Act 1, we see Abigail whipping Betty Parris into a state of hysteria as she begins a campaign to save her own skin and, later, to destroy Elizabeth Proctor. In Act 2 we hear about the girls' increasing power, but only through description. Wherever Abigail walks, “the crowd will part like the sea for Israel … and if [her followers] scream and howl and fall to the floor - the person's clapped in the jail for bewitchin' them.” At some point - Miller does not say when - the girls' fraud takes them over and they can no longer help their behaviour. The playwright skilfully holds back the second scene of possession until the moment of maximum impact the terrifying climax to Act 3. back next
Mass Hysteria cont… In Act 3 Mary tells Danforth “It were only sport in the beginning, sir.” It is clear that after a while she was carried along by mass hysteria and no longer fully in contyrol of herself. Miller leaves open the question of how many girls were similarly affected and when this happened. Abigail alone knows exactly what she is doing; she controls the court officials as tightly as she controls her followers. She is confident enough to threaten Judge Danforth. “Think you to be so mighty that the power of hell may not turn your wits.” Danforth thunders at Mary, “You will confess yourself or you will hang”, but Abigail instinctively moves on to something far more sinister. Mary ceases to exist in human form when Abigail 'sees' her in the yellow bird perched on a roof beam. She avoids all rational questioning by whipping the girls into a frenzy of fear and hysteria. back menu
Integrity John Proctor's progress to self-awareness represents a major theme running throughout Miller's work. In Miller's thinking, moral honesty cannot be separated from a commitment to society. In Act 4, the hero cries out, 'God in Heaven, what is John Proctor?'(p. 120) He finds his answer during his final moments on earth. As in several other Miller plays, the central figure must come to terms with the consequences of past actions. In The Crucible's opening scenes, Proctor takes little interest in the outbreak of hysteria at Salem. He is a busy farmer living five miles from the meeting house, and his irritation with Parris has kept him away from church services. Perhaps we should also give him credit for trying to keep away from Abigail, even if his efforts are not successful. Menu next
Integrity cont… We see him next in his domestic surroundings, ashamed of his adultery but also resentful that his wife will not accept his sincere repentance. His refusal to meddle in village affairs follows from a very natural reluctance to publicize his adultery. (It later turns out that at least one of Abigail's friends knows about it.) At this stage, John's practical reasons for standing aloof also give him a pretext for evading social responsibility. When the witch-hunters invade his home and arrest his wife, he is forced to become involved. In the court scenes, John rises above his own fears and resentment to argue as well as he can for common sense and reason. We see his growing social involvement when he turns down the chance to save Elizabeth by abandoning his friends and their wives. Yet his plan of action still depends on making someone else take responsibility - Mary Warren. Only when this hope collapses does he tell the full truth, regardless of consequences. back next
Integrity cont… Act 4 concentrates almost wholly on this theme. John faces a final temptation to retreat into dishonesty and save his life. His new found closeness with Elizabeth increases his agony. At first he uses his own guilt to escape the gallows, but under Danforth's relentless pressure he arrives at a clear view of what his choice must be. He manages to accept and forgive his own imperfections. Discovering his 'core' and identity, John can at last take charge of his life, neither rejecting social involvement nor handing over his conscience to someone else. Irony is often used in The Crucible to emphasize the irrationality of the witch-hunt. That John Proctor's life-affirming choice should lead to death is the greatest irony of the play. bac k next
Integrity cont… Two other characters, Reverend Hale and Elizabeth, take a similar path to self-awareness. Elizabeth perceives that her own physical coldness was partly responsible for the affair between Abigail and her husband. However, this is a dramatic device to allow John Proctor to come to terms with himself. We have no clue as to how Elizabeth will deal with her knowledge after John's death. In the final Act, Hale is full of remorse for supporting the witch-hunt. Preaching a doctrine that is the exact opposite of his former beliefs, he urges the prisoners to lie in order to save themselves. This desperate attempt to appease his conscience brings him no comfort. He is a man broken by guilt; there is no indication that he will ever recover. back Menu
Characterization Back The pivotal scene depends on what we already know of the central characters. Establish the characters of John Elizabeth and Abigail. Explain how we know of John and Elizabeth’s strength, goodness and honesty, and how we know of Abigail’s wickedness – give examples of each. Explain the conflict between John and Elizabeth. Show how this involves us with the characters / increases their complexity. (Do not discuss the central scene itself). Next
Assignment: Structure Back Next The structure of the play has brought us from the private settings of Parris’s and the Proctors’ homes in Act One and Two where the rumours and accusations began and spread, to the public setting of the Courtroom where John intends to end them. Explain how Miller uses Danforth (and his instructions to the rest of the cast) to intensify the Dramatic Irony created in this scene and how this increases your enjoyment / involvement. Explain how Elizabeth’s answer changes hope to despair and sets in motion the subsequent ruination of everyone’s plans in the final Act.
Assignment: Theme Next The strongest theme in this scene and the play as a whole comes from Miller’s experience of McCarthyism in the 1950’s (do not go into detail but … In focusing on the corruption of justice Miller is clearly satirising the injustice of the McCarthy hearings). Explain how unjust the court’s handling of suspects is – leading questions, verbally trickery etc. - focusing in particular on Danforth’s handling of the central scene. Explain how Miller uses John’s bravery in the final scene to show that the corruption of justice should always be opposed.
Assignment Back Main Menu Conclusion Sum up (don’t just state!) how Miller has used convincing characters in a carefully structured plot to create a moment of extreme tension (Elizabeth’s unfair trial) which affects all subsequent action and makes us consider our own attitudes towards the central theme of the corruption of justice. Try to end on a final thought.
Arthur Miller American Playwright and Writer In 1953 he wrote The Crucible, which uses the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 to attack the anti-communist “witch hunts” of the 1950s. He believed the hysteria surrounding the witch craft trials in Puritan New England paralleled the climate of McCarthyism – Senator Joseph McCarthy’s obsessive quest to uncover communist party infiltration of American institutions. After the publication of the The Crucible, Miller himself was investigated for possible associations with the communist party. He refused to give information regarding his colleagues and was found guilty of contempt of court. His sentence was later overturned.
Abigail Williams Orphaned niece of Reverend Parris She was once the mistress of John Proctor but was turned out when his wife discovered the affair. She is extremely jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and uses her power in the town to rid herself of Elizabeth as well as any others who have insulted her in the past. She cannot let go of her obsession with Proctor. She is the leader of the girls.
John Proctor Husband to Elizabeth He had an affair with Abigail when she was employed in his household. He knows that the girls are pretending but cannot tell what he knows without revealing having been alone with Abigail. When Abigail uses her influence to convict his wife, he tries to tell the truth and finds himself condemned. He refuses to admit to witchcraft or to consider Abigail as anything more than a liar. He is hanged.
Elizabeth Proctor Wife of John Proctor She discovered an affair going on between her husband and Abigail Williams and turned Abigail out of her house. She is Abigail's main target but is saved from hanging because of her pregnancy. She feels responsible for driving her husband to infidelity.
Tituba Servant to the Parris household She is a native of Barbados. She is enlisted by Ruth Putnam and Abigail to cast spells and create charms. When Abigail turns on her to save herself from punishment, Tituba confesses to all and saves herself.
Reverend Parris Pastor of the church in Salem He is the father of Betty and the uncle of Abigail Williams. He believes that he is being persecuted and that the townspeople do not respect his position as a man of God.
Deputy Governor Danforth He seems to feel particularly strongly that the girls are honest. He is sensitive to the presence of the devil and reacts explosively to whatever evidence is presented.
The Girls Betty Parris- Daughter of the Reverend, cousin to Abigail Williams. She is a weak girl who goes along with her cousin as soon as she is threatened. Susanna Walcott-One of the girls. She is initially sent between Parris and Dr. Griggs to determine the cause of Betty's ailment. She is easily guided by Abigail. Mercy Lewis- Servant to the Putnam household. She is a merciless girl who seems to delight in the girls' activities. Mary Warren-Servant to the Proctor household. Abigail uses her to effectively accuse Elizabeth. John Proctor takes Mary to the court to confess that the girls are only pretending. She is not strong enough to fight Abigail and as soon as Abigail leads the other girls against her, Mary caves and runs back to her side by accusing Proctor himself.
Drama Basics (cont’d)
American Drama Drama is probably the most difficult form of writing. A play is not finished in the same way that a poem or novel is because after it is written, it still needs to be brought to life on a stage. A play primarily engages the enthusiasm of directors, actors, and technicians through the story. The playwright makes the audience concerned for a character by focusing on a conflict that involves something important to the characters. The protagonist of a play is the major character who usually drives the action forward. Exposition gives the audience background information. Most of the plays that are produced in the United States today are produced with the hope that they will make money.
Click on the parts of the picture that you would like to explore in more detail. When you have finished click here HTD68835 The Witches Sabbath, 1606 by Frans II, The Younger Francken, ( ), Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, (Out of Copyright)
Potions Medicine, or poison in liquid form. Incense This provides a fragrant smell when burnt. Q. When you go back to the main picture try and spot where and in what the potions are being mixed together? Q. Why do you think that incense is being burnt? Click here for a clue.
Remember how important religion was at this time. Demons An evil spirit or devil. Many people thought witchcraft to be the work of the Devil. Some pets were thought to be demons, or familiars. These could disguise themselves as common animals such as cats, dogs, frogs or rabbits.
Skull – The skeleton of the head. These were often used in paintings as reminders of death and the afterlife. Could they provide a link with the dead and spirits from beyond the grave? Consider how superstitious people were at this time. Q. What are the skulls lying on? Q. What has been put with them?
Witch Somebody who practices magic (in this case ‘dark’ forms of magic. It was thought at this time that witches were sometimes accompanied by a a devil or ‘familiar’ spirit. Lots of witches together are called a coven. Q. What do you find strange about the two witches at the front of the picture? Q. What do you find strange about the appearance of this witch ? Do you expect a witch to look like this?
Cauldron A large round pot made of metal which is used for boiling food. Cauldrons could also be used for mixing potions…. (When you go back to the painting look at the fireplace) Q. Can you link this with any other part of the picture? (Clue: Go back and look on the shelves)
Witch When people think of witches they tend to think that they will be female. Men were also accused of witchcraft. A male witch is sometimes called a Warlock – a wizard or sorcerer. Q. Are all of those present within this painting female?
A Familiar This was thought to be an evil spirit that had taken on the form of an animal A Spell book Contained incantations, chants and spells Q. How many creatures can you see in the picture? Q. Describe some of these creatures. Familiars could even look like common pets!
Could this be a reference to Doctor Faustus (made famous in a play by Christopher Marlowe in 1604)? Ask your teacher about this. Sprites Supernatural beings or the souls of people. They can sometimes take on a ghostly appearance. Levitation Rising into the air using supernatural powers.
Factors Leading to McCarthyism: Although the Soviet Union and the United States had been allies during World War II, their alliance quickly unraveled once they had defeated their common enemy. In the U.S., after WWII, many Americans felt that China and Eastern Europe had been “lost” to the Soviets. Russia acquired the atomic bomb. By reason of the Soviets’ atomic testing, together with the thought that spies had stolen American ideas and given Russia the bomb, many feared that Russian communism posed a great threat to America. Some feared the Truman administration was not vigilant enough in eliminating this threat of communism. The political unrest of a post-war society, a rising uneasiness with a change in “American values” and a fear of moral DECADENCE, and widespread intolerance were all factors leading to THE GREAT SCARE of communism. (Oakley) Harry s. Truman 33 rd President of the United States in office from April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
McCarthyism McCarthyism is the term used to describe a period of intense suspicion in the United States during the early 1950s. It began when Senator Joseph McCarthy, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, claimed that communists had infiltrated the Department of State. A special House Committee on Un-American Activities was formed to investigate allegations of communism. During this period, people from all walks of life became the subjects of aggressive “witch hunts” often based on inconclusive, questionable evidence.
McCarthyism Persons accused of being communists were often denied employment in both the public and private sector. In the film industry alone, over 300 actors, writers, and directors were denied work in the U.S. American writer, Arthur Miller, was one of those alleged to have been “blacklisted.”
McCarthyism Influence finally faltered in 1954 Edward R. Murrow, CBS newsman investigative news report revealed McCarthy as dishonest in his speeches and abusive in his interrogation of witnesses. The public was finally made aware of how McCarthy was ruining the reputations of many individuals through false accusations of communism. Edward R. Murrow
Joseph McCarthy’s Reputation Joseph McCarthy, a republican senator from Wisconsin, spent his first three years in office “undistinguished.” Some described him as a “lazy and ineffectual senator, and an easy captive for any lobbyist willing to put a few extra bucks into his personal or political bank account.” He sought fame and power. His political career was fading, until he used the charged political climate to boost that career. (Oakley)
A Political Bombshell On February 9, 1950, Republican senator Joseph McCarthy dropped a political bombshell. McCarthy gave a speech at the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, in which he attacked the Truman administration and claimed to have a long list of Communists in the State Department. No one in the press actually saw the names on the list, but McCarthy's announcement made the national news. (Schulz) McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) worked to root out all Communist sympathizers in the country. He began an investigation into the lives of citizens who appeared to have communist ideals. He held public trials and encouraged FEAR and PARANOIA. (New Rep On Tour)
McCarthy’s Rise to Power It is widely accepted that McCarthy made up these accusations solely to AGGRANDIZE his political power. In fact, he often changed the number of people accused because he could not remember what he stated in previous speeches. The number of government officials in Truman’s administration accused of being “card-carrying members of the communist party” went from 205 to 136 to 57 to 81. Many people were willing to believe his charges without evidence because people wanted to feel secure. His focus on weeding out corruption made people feel that someone was doing something to keep them safe. McCarthy became the most sought-after public speaker in America. He was named one of Washington’s most eligible bachelors. His office was flooded with donations to help his cause of eliminating the communist threat. At one point, he received an average of $ a day in the mail. Eventually, he had to escalate his accusations and not just speak generally of government officials, but actually NAME NAMES. He branched out to intimidate and attack private citizens– journalists, professors, artists, and those in professions that were considered “LIBERAL.” ( Oakley)
The Rise of a WITCH HUNT Through intensive interrogation by Senator Joseph McCarthy, using tactics of distortion, a witch-hunt began. Those who were sympathetic to the communist cause, or those who had connections with Russia, could be summoned before the committee to explain their involvement. People were told to recant communist beliefs and name their former friends and associates in the communist cause. When people denied allegations or refused to name names, they were punished. Citizens were blacklisted, unemployed, and in some cases, isolated from this country for over thirty years. (New Rep On Tour)
EVIDENCE ??? McCarthy’s evidence lacked any substance. One of his favorite techniques of proof was to pull a stack of papers from his old briefcase and, claiming that he held the evidence in his hand, taken from his files, to read from imaginary documents about imaginary people and imaginary events, making up names and numbers and events as he went along. Sometimes the “documents” were worthless sheets of paper, old government reports, or copies of legislation being deliberated by the Senate. He denied requests to see the documents by claiming that they were secret documents given to him by his network of informants. He denied requests for clarification by claiming that it was not his fault people were too stupid to understand what he was saying. He avoided criticisms of his inconsistencies in the number of communists against whom he had evidence by stating he was “sick of the numbers game” and “wanted to get to the heart of the matter.” When called out on a lie, he would simply accuse his adversary of communist sympathy. He used BOMBASTIC and inflammatory speeches to obscure facts. He called those against the trials, “left-wing bleeding hearts,” “egg-sucking phony liberals,” “punks,” and “traitors.” He questioned the patriotism, loyalty, and morality of those who questioned the trials.( Oakley)
The evidence in McCarthy trials was “questionable” and often relied on the testimony of those attempting to avoid persecution themselves. McCarthy and his cohorts made, what are now recognized as, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents. McCarthy was never able to truly substantiate his charges. They are now widely accepted as false. Many believe his intentions were corrupt and that he was looking for political gain. (New Rep On Tour)
A Modern-Day Witch Hunt “Are you now, or have you ever been, a Communist?” Joseph McCarthy asked that question to MANY American citizens. This question spurred a modern-day witch hunt. McCarthy – a member of the American government encouraged the cleansing of the community of one group by another – the vilification of one group to allay the irrational fears of another.
WHAT IS A WITCH HUNT? witch hunt: noun 1 : a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft. 2 : the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (as political opponents) with unpopular views 3: a political campaign launched on the pretext of investigating activities subversive to the state. (Merriam-Webster on line)
What causes a WITCH HUNT? Insufficient tolerance for human diversity Prejudice/Bias Scape-goating Persecution of unpopular minority groups Overblown fear of the unfamiliar Heightened Emotions Irrational Fear and Paranoia Self-Righteousness and Moral Judgment Blind Idealism Moral Absolutism and a STRINGENT concept of Purity/Morality Mob Mentality Hysteria Corruption of Power Self-Absorbed Authority Figures Greed for AGGRANDIZEMENT
McCarthy’s Witch Hunt: Who Was Targeted? Of particular interest to Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee were those practicing communists in the artistic community. The reasoning was that the most dangerous methods for converting Americans to communist beliefs would be through the films, music, and art that they enjoyed. McCarthy prosecuted a great many playwrights, screenwriters, and other artists. In a number of cases, McCarthy was successful in “blacklisting” these artists – which meant no one would purchase their services for fear of being linked to communism. Major screenwriters, directors and actors were denied employment by major studios. A number of Miller’s contemporaries lost their livelihood due to these hearings, and the playwright himself was brought before the proceedings. (Oakley) NOTE: Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, was directly connected to the world of Hollywood. He even married Marilyn Monroe.
The Hollywood Ten The first processed Hollywood blacklist was initiated the day after ten writers and directors [known as THE HOLLYWOOD TEN] were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Other Artists also developed allegories that represented the McCarthy Trials. Marvel Comics had a whole series that covered McCarthyism. These panels include a direct paraphrase of the speech by Senator Joe McCarthy that launched his career as a Communist- hunting demagogue. NOTE: Marvel replaces the fear of communism with the fear of alien life forms. (Lequidre)
McCarthyism and Pop Culture MARVEL COMICSMCCARTHY TRIALS
The Crucible and Literary Archetypes The Crucible includes a few archetype characters: The Tragic Hero/ The Sullied Hero/ The Romantic Hero, The Temptress, The Devil Figure, The Scapegoat. It also provides a few archetype events: The Crossroads, The Maze
Although archetypal figures are MODEL CHARCTERS or CHARACTER TYPES, they sometimes alter to fit the society they reflect. Take the definition of a TRAGIC HERO, for example. Two men are credited with the definition of differing TRAGIC HEROES. AristotleArthur Miller
Aristotelian Tragic Hero TRAGIC HEROES ARE: BORN INTO NOBILITY: RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN FATE ENDOWED WITH A TRAGIC FLAW DOOMED TO MAKE A SERIOUS ERROR IN JUDGEMENT EVENTUALLY, TRAGIC HEROES FALL FROM GREAT HEIGHTS OR HIGH ESTEEM REALIZE THEY HAVE MADE AN IRREVERSIBLE MISTAKE FACE AND ACCEPT DEATH WITH HONOR MEET A TRAGIC DEATH FOR ALL TRAGIC HEROES THE AUDIENCE IS AFFECTED BY PITY and/or FEAR
Arthur Miller’s Common Man Tragic Hero Arthur Miller, the author of both Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, argues that a tragic hero need not be of high social standing. He asserts the value in the common man hero –a man with flaws, with meekness. What makes this man a hero is his desire and willingness to fight to maintain his own personal dignity. What makes him relevant to our times is that he exists in everyday life. He is not royalty or rich or on any sort of pedestal from which to fall. He is us. He is every man.
THE SULLIED HERO Many plays idealize the protagonist in an effort to create a person with whom the audience will sympathize. When employed in a tragedy, this strategy also places that character on a pedestal so that, when he or she falls, the fall will be much greater and more heartbreaking. In contrast, Miller’s protagonist, John Proctor, is not a perfect man. He is FLAWED from the beginning. His FALL is still tragic and the audience can relate to his flaws. The common man is flawed and the audience is full of common men. (New Rep on Tour) TRAGEDY AND THE COMMON MAN Miller states that the flaw, or crack in character, for a common man tragic hero is “nothing but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity.” In other words, the hero refuses to give up his place in society and lose his personal pride. He will do anything to keep his good name. (Miller)
YOUR ASSIGNMENTS Make a list of parallels between the Salem Witch Trials and the McCarthy Trials. Consider events leading up to the trials, the emotions of the people involved, and the trials themselves. Categorize your list as follows: Political Climate, Social Climate, Accusers and Accusations, Trials and Evidence, Contributing Factors. Consider the literary terms introduced in this powerpoint (sullied hero, common man hero, protest literature, allegory, archetypes). For each term, list at least two examples of literature you’ve read within the last two years or characters from that literature that apply to the terms. For example, list titles of novels or plays you’ve read that include a sullied hero and a common man hero. Indicate what makes the characters in those works sullied/common man heroes.
Works Cited “Allegory.” Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary. Lequidre, Zorikh. “ The HUAC, McCarthyism, and Witch-Hunts Through Captain Marvel Comics”; Captain Marvel Culture Miller, Arthur. “Tragedy and the Common Man." The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller. Viking Press. 1949/1977. Reprinted (by permission of Viking Penguin, Inc.) on The Literary Link. Study Guide, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. New Rep On Tour: Professional Performance in Your School. Fall, New Rep Administrative Office. Oakley, Ronald J. “The Great Fear.” God’s Country: America in the Fifties. Republished in Literature Connections: The Crucible and Related Readings. Illinois. McDougal Littel, Schutz, Stanley K., University of Wisconsin History Professor. Lecture 23, “The Coils of Cold War.” American History 102: Civil War to the Present “Sullied Hero.” “Allegory.” Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary. webster.com/dictionary/ “Witchhunt.” Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary.