Presentation on theme: "The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Crucible: A heat-resistant container in which metals are melted or fused at very high temperatures. Used symbolically to."— Presentation transcript:
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Crucible: A heat-resistant container in which metals are melted or fused at very high temperatures. Used symbolically to suggest a severe trial or test.
Arthur Miller (1915 – 2005) Native New Yorker Great Depression – family business went bankrupt 1932 – Graduated HS (delays college 2 yrs to raise $ for tuition) Began writing drama in college 1947 – All My Sons on Broadway = immediate success 1949 – Death of a Salesman wins Pulitzer Prize hailed as a modern American Tragedy 1953 – The Crucible = less warmly received due to political content
1956 – Married Marilyn Monroe Arthur Miller (1915 – 2005)
1956 – Miller called to testify before HUAC. Testifies about his own experiences but refuses to rat out others Found guilty of contempt of Congress for his silence Later, sentence overturned Arthur Miller (1915 – 2005) House Committee on Un-American Activites (HUAC)
1940s & 1950s in America Cold War – military tension with communist Russia Red Scare – fear of communists infiltrating gov’t Senator Joseph Mccarthy – accused many public figures of being communist HUAC – investigative committee; held hearings Hollywood 10 –10 people in Motion Picture Industry refuse to name names.
1700s in America Salem Witch Trials A series of court hearings to prosecute people accused of witchcraft. Over 150 ppl arrested (5 died in jail) All 26 who went to trial convicted Execution by hanging
Initial Events Salem Village 1692 Betty Parris (9) & Abigail Williams (11) began to have epileptic fits screaming, throwing things around the room, strange sounds, crawling and contorting themselves in odd positions girls complained of being pricked with pins 3 Initial suspects: Sarah Good - homeless Sarah Osborne – had sex with slave, never went to church Tituba – slave More suspects: Martha Corey & Rebecca Nurse: voiced skepticism about accusations. Upstanding citizens Arrest deeply upset community. Dorothy Good (4): daughter of Sarah Good questioned by courts answers taken as a confession *If such good people can be witches, anyone can be a witch
Can you begin to see some similarities between what was going on in the 1950s and what happened back in the 1700s? Begin to think about Miller’s purpose for writing The Crucible.
Arthur Miller on The Crucible Miller used the hysteria surrounding the Salem witch trials in the 1700s to comment on what was happening in America in the 1950s. Menace of a concealed plot Rituals of investigative routines Prosecutions alleging membership in a secret disloyal group Only way the accused could prove their innocence was by naming others thus, informers= proof of plot/group existance Dangers of: religious extremism false accusations governmental intrusion on individual liberties Similarities