What is the background heat (context) that stirs up trouble in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible?

View the following preview and check out this link for more information. Make a connection between one thread of this complicated history to Arthur Miller’s play that is being performed in our PAC this weekend. In other words, write a substantial argument (6-8 sentences of Standard English) where you make a specific connection between an actual moment in American history (of the blacklist, Miller, Kazan, or McCarthyism) to a specific scene in the play. You can find full versions of this documentary online to learn more about this “complicated” issue, and appreciate how friendship between two artists played an interesting role admist the social and political turbulence. You can use other sources to elucidate your historical connection. Click on the “Comment” thread below for your extra credit. Good Night, and Good Luck.

ps: the real Murrow speaking about Senator McCarthy (and Shakespeare!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEvEmkMNYHY


About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
This entry was posted in 21st Century Learning, American Literary Studies, Extra Credit. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What is the background heat (context) that stirs up trouble in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible?

  1. jteich17 says:

    McCarthyism parallels the witch trials in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” throughout the entire play, but in the courtroom scene in particular this connection becomes clear. Abigail, the antagonist of the play, manages to control the entire court, much like how McCarthy was able to utilize censorship and propaganda to control the United States. Communism was an excuse for control in the government during the Red Scare, just as the witch-hunt was an excuse for Abigail to gain power. She works the court and, despite her vicious lies, comes out unscathed. Similarly, the search for communists was a “witch hunt.” The accused witches did not have magic, and many of the people accused of being communists had no interest in communism. Anyone that tried to speak out against McCarthyism and its unfairness was blacklisted, which parallels how anyone who spoke against Abigail was turned against immediately. Arthur Miller juxtaposes the lack of freedom in “the land of the free” with the dishonesty in the courtroom of “The Crucible”.

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