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Puritans Who were they? How did they live? Where is Salem? What is The Crucible? What is your assignment?

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Presentation on theme: "Puritans Who were they? How did they live? Where is Salem? What is The Crucible? What is your assignment?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Puritans Who were they? How did they live? Where is Salem? What is The Crucible? What is your assignment?

2 PURITAN LIFE AND RELIGION The Puritans were an English religious group who came to the United States to practice their religion without interference from the Church of England. The Puritans were pilgrims, but not all pilgrims were Puritans. Most Puritans settled in towns in coastal Massachusetts just slightly north of Boston. The Puritans had their own unique community and cultural practices, most of them based on their religious beliefs. It is important for us to understand the Puritan customs and culture before we can begin reading The Crucible, which takes place in one of these Puritan communities: Salem, Massachusetts.

3 The Puritan Way In the 18th Century, following the teaching of the English philosopher John Locke, emerges the influence of a group known as Puritans. John Locke's influential books include: "A Letter Concerning Toleration", "Two Treatises of Government", "Essay on Human Understanding", and "The Reasonableness of Christianity". Puritans rejected the rituals and extravagant buildings of the major denominations in Europe. Puritans emphasized individual conscience before God, and rejected the dogmas of organized religion. Puritans, sometimes called Separatists, are those who 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. By far the largest group of Puritans came out of the Presbyterian Church, while the second largest group came from the Baptists. In a time when hatred and persecution existed between many denominations, every denomination in Europe hated and persecuted the Puritans. One small group after another boarded ships and came to America.

4 Religion played an important role in Puritan life. The Puritans felt that they were chosen by God for a special purpose and that they must live every moment in a God- fearing manner. Every man, woman, and child was expected to attend the meeting on the Sabbath without question. Puritans were required to read the Bible which showed their religious discipline. If they did not read the Bible, it was thought that they were worshiping the devil. Preparations for the Sabbath began the day before. All of the food had to be cooked and clothes ready. No labor, not even sewing, could be done on the Sabbath. The Sabbath began at sundown the night before, and the evening was spent in prayer and Bible study. The Puritan Way

5 Strict Order in the Church The church was usually a small bare building. Upon entering people would take their appropriate places. The men sat on one side, the women sat on the other, and the boys did not sit with their parents, but sat together in a designated pew where they were expected to sit in complete silence. The deacons sat in the front row just below the pulpit because everyone agreed the first pew was the one of highest dignity. The servants and slaves crowded near the door, into a loft, or a balcony. The service began with a prayer given by the minister that usually lasted around an hour. Puritans did not like music in their services. They also felt that music and celebrating were not appropriate in the church meeting house. It was many years before any musical instruments were allowed in the church.

6 Strict Order in the Church After the prayer, the minister would continue with an emotional sermon. The minister's sermon would last for two, three, even four hours at a time without restroom breaks or intermissions. The Puritans listened intently to the terrible warnings of sin and punishment. Church Deacons, such as this one, kept strict order in the church. Using this "staff," deacons would poke anyone misbehaving in church. In this illustration, the boy is being punished for turning around to talk to his friend. Churches were unheated and for many months of the year and in the winter were unbearably cold. Women carried small foot-stoves from home full of hot coals which were used to warm their feet during the church service.

7 Common misconceptions about Puritans include: The Salem witch trials: the Salem witch trials were not typical of Puritan life. In more than 400 years of Puritan history there were only two such incidents. In Europe such trials were common. The things that happened in Europe can happen here too, in fact they happen a lot more today than they did in Puritan times. The Scarlet Letter: clearly, Nathaniel Hawthorne was a great author, but it is also clear that he disliked Puritans. He took a custom that existed in Spain and an incident which took place in Spain, translated them into a Puritan setting, and created a story that was entirely fictitious. His book is filled with misrepresentations about Puritan beliefs.

8 Puritan intolerance: Having discussed the intolerance of the major denominations toward Puritans, we must also admit that Puritans have, at times, also shown intolerance for others, particularly toward the denominations that persecuted them. When Roman Catholics in Pennsylvania called for freedom of religion though, Puritans decided that was what they really wanted all along.

9 Salem, Massachusetts and the History of Witchcraft The most infamous occurrence involving the Puritans were the events that transpired in Salem, Mass. in The events which led to the witch trials in Salem actually occurred in what is now the town of Danvers, then a parish of Salem Town, known as Salem Village. Launching the hysteria was the bizarre, seemingly inexplicable behavior of two young girls; the daughter, Betty, and the niece, Abigail Williams, of the Salem Village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris.

10 What was Salem like then & what is it like today? Salem is just a 40-minute drive from Boston, along route 1A. It's a lovely drive along the coast.

11 Salem is a coastal town--it lies on an inlet in the Atlantic Ocean. Its location made it accessible to the early Puritan settlers who arrived by boat from England.

12 Salem does not keep its infamous history a secret... in fact, it capitalizes on it through many tourist attractions.

13 There are many tours and museums that cater to the morbid interest that people still have about the Salem Witch Trials.

14 The "Witch House" dates back to the first Puritan settlers (1642). It was the home of a witch trial judge, Jonathan Corwin (who is not in the Crucible). The house still retains its authenticity and its original spooky quality.

15 One of the most historic--and saddest--stops in Salem is The Old Burying Point. It's a very old cemetery, containing the bodies of many Puritans dating from the late 1600s. The bodies of those who were hanged during the Salem Witch Trials are not buried here (it cannot be determined where their bodies are), but there is a memorial site for these individuals. Crucible readers should recognize many names.

16 Arthur Millers The Crucible Arthur Mille wrote the play The Crucible. The play is a fictional recreation of the Salem witch trials, their origins, a psychological investigation of the act of persecution, and McCarthyism.

17 The McCarthy era's anti-communist trials destroyed lives and friendships. Arthur Miller describes the paranoia that swept America - and the moment his then wife, Marilyn Monroe, became a bargaining chip in his own prosecution. It would probably never have occurred to me to write a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692 had I not seen some astonishing correspondences with that calamity in the America of the late 40s and early 50s. My basic need was to respond to a phenomenon which, with only small exaggeration, one could say paralyzed a whole generation and in a short time dried up the habits of trust and toleration in public discourse. I refer to the anti-communist rage that threatened to reach hysterical proportions and sometimes did. I suppose we rapidly passed over anything like a discussion or debate, and into something quite different, a hunt not just for subversive people, but for ideas and even a suspect language. The object was to destroy the least credibility of any and all ideas associated with socialism and communism, whose proponents were assumed to be either knowing or unwitting agents of Soviet subversion.

18 The Hollywood Blacklist The Salem Witch Trials really did happen, but Arthur Miller used a more recent example from American history as the basis for The Crucible: McCarthyism. In the 1950s many famous people were accused of being Communists and were called to testify: Lucille Ball ("I Love Lucy"), Ronald Reagan (though he became a "friendly witness" and named names of those he reportedly saw at Communist meetings), Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, and of course, Arthur Miller.

19 Your Task: You will be responsible for the assignments that can be found on The Crucible WebQuest on 3 journal entries 1 roll chart or Venn diagram 3 annotated bibliographies Correct MLA citation of ALL of your sources. Yes, even pictures. 1 group PowerPoint Your portion of your groups PowerPoint presentation

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