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Arthur Miller - The Crucible

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1 Arthur Miller - The Crucible
“The Crucible was an act of desperation” Arthur Miller - The New Yorker 1996

2 Arthur Miller 1915-2005 married several times Marilyn Monroe
Born in NYC father manufactured women’s coats mom - school teacher pre-eminent playwright in US

3 Miller - career auto parts plant read Tolstoy’s War and Peace
University of Michigan wrote plays to earn money All My Sons 1st Broadway success 1947 NY Drama Critics - Best Play need for moral responsibility

4 Miller - works continued
1949 Death of a Salesman Willy Loman tragic hero

5 The Crucible 1953 response to Joseph McCarthy
“Are you now or were you ever a Communist?” initial reaction most produced play

6 Senator Joseph McCarthy
Wisconsin list of 205 people in State Dept. Red Scare HUAC Army-McCarthy hearings 1954 censured by Senate

7 The Crucible - Miller’s Thoughts
“The Crucible was an act of desperation…. By 1950 when I began to think of writing about the hunt for Reds in America I was motivated in some great part by the paralysis that had set in among many liberals who, despite their discomfort with the inquisitor’s violations of civil rights, were fearful, and with good reason, of being identified as covert Communists if they should protest too strongly….”

8 Thematic Elements moral motivation individual and society
one man’s struggle “They believed that they held in their steady hands the candle that would light the world.”

9 The Crucible - Characters
John Proctor farmer protagonist father Flawed married to Elizabeth has affair with Abigail Williams

10 Elizabeth Proctor wife to John Proctor kind, but reserved mother
accused of being a witch

11 Abigail Williams niece of Rev. Parris
initiator of “witchcraft” in woods accuses many of being witches ring leader

12 Reverend Parris father to Betty Abigail’s uncle authority in the town
likes money

13 Betty Parris Reverend Parris’ daughter
affected by the goings on in woods

14 Reverend Hale from Beverly near 40 book learned earnest

15 Thomas and Ann Putnam prominent citizens daughter - Ruth
fight with Nurses

16 Francis Nurse upstanding member of community land holder
warring with Putnams

17 Rebecca Nurse midwife respected woman accused of being a witch

18 Giles Corey asset to both sides in trial until a point
pressed to death

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