The Crucible Anticipation Guide - DOC

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					                                      The Crucible Anticipation Guide

Carefully read and consider each of the following statements. Then mark whether you agree or disagree
with each statement.

Agree   Disagree Statement
                 1. Age does not matter in a relationship between a man and a woman.

                   2. “All is fair in love and war.”

                   3. Adultery is acceptable in today’s society.

                   4. It is okay to lie or cheat as long as you don’t get caught.

                   5. Withholding the truth is the same thing as telling a lie.

                   6. There are times in life when you should lie.

                   7. Gossiping is a harmless but fun way to pass time.

                   8. If the majority of people believe a statement is true, then it must be
                   9. In the American judicial system, the accused is innocent until proven
                   10. I am willing to accept the consequences of my actions.

                   11. Going to church helps to make you a good person.

                   12. Most people have certain fundamental beliefs that they are not
                   willing to compromise.

Now choose one of the above statements with which you strongly agree or disagree. Explain your feelings
about this statement in a brief paragraph that you write in the space below.
The Crucible – Overture

Each group is responsible for “teaching” their assigned paragraphs. The group will explain the
meaning of their assigned selection and provide answers for their assigned questions. Each
group will ALSO prepare a creative presentation (drawing on the board, short skit, etc.) that will
illustrate (symbolically?) their assigned paragraphs.

     Group #                                              Paragraphs
     #1        Setting                                    1–3
     #2        Theocracy                                  4–5
     #3        The wilderness                             6–7
     #4        “City on a hill”                           8 – 10
     #5        Next generation Puritans                   11 – 13
     #6        Withcraft                                  14 – 15

Group #1
1.   Describe how the narrator/author sees Rev. Parris.
2.   Explain, in detail, the “town” and describe how the Puritan’s viewed their “town.”
3.   According to these paragraphs, what was the economic situation in Salem during this time?
4.   How did the Europeans view the Puritans?
Group #2
5.   What does the narrator/author mean when he says that “There was a good supply of ne’er-
     do-wells?” Describe what you think a ne’er-do-well is and what their life might be like in
     Salem 1692.
6.   What reason “more than the creed” does the author give for the people of Salem remaining
     so strongly united? Will that reason remain valid (consider when the author says, “the time
     of the armed camp had almost passed” in your response)?
7.   Explain the duty of the two-man patrols appointed by the Church-Govt. as police officers.
     What exactly were they policing?
8.   List the main tension of this section: ____________ vs. ______________
Suggested Tension: The stereotypical view of Puritans vs. the Real view flaws and all
Groups #3
9.   How did the Puritans view the forest and why?
10. Explain why the Puritans viewed the Indians as heathens.
11. What is the main conflict/tension in this section?
Group #4
12. How did the Puritans view other sects of Christianity? According to the author why did they
    feel this way?
13. What does it mean to believe one holds the candle that lights the world?
14. Explain the concept of the New Jerusalem.
15. List three character traits your peers should understand about the Puritans?
Group #5
16. Look up the word JUNTA in the dictionary, and write the definition here that makes the
    best sense with how it is used in this section.
17. What governmental change occurred that may have seemed frightening to the Puritan
18. How does Miller explain a THEOCRACY? (And what might “material or ideological
    enemies” mean?)
19. Other than possible witches, what does Miller say made these Puritans feel panic?
20. Even though Miller’s play is about historical figures in Salem in the 1690s, the play is also
    known to be an expression of his feelings about his own period in the 1950s. What does he
    say about repressions that could apply to the 1950s and even to our own time?
21. Prepare two BRIEF melodramas/skits. The first should show us something to do with a
    likely situation in which the Puritans supported a theocracy. The second should show a
    situation or scene in which Puritans may not see the need for a strong theocracy.
Group #6
22. Why does Miller feel pity for the people of his play (the people of 17th century Salem)?
23. What does Miller say are two or three reasons that people felt good about crying witch
    against their neighbors?
24. Based on the previous question: In this section, what is Miller’s attitude about the
    strictness of the Puritans?
25. In a BRIEF skit or melodrama, demonstrate for the class a couple of the attitudes Miller
    suggests were behind crying witch on a neighbor.
                                 American Literature Notes
What makes American literature unique: 4 main reasons
  1) Point of View- Authorial distance or attachment. The author makes very little
      difference or attempt to differentiate between the author and who is telling the story (the
  2) The Move from Society- Most other literature has the protagonist engulfed in society,
      return to, or re-assimilate into society. American literature- the protagonist moves away
      from society, separating him/herself from the rest of the town.

                                                    from society

                             Protagonist                                      Resolution
      World Literature:

                                                      Move back
                                                      to society


                           Protagonist                      Protagonist moves away
                                                            from society/ becomes
                                                            an individual
     Keeps going further away from society, never reconciles with the town or its inhabitants.
      Returning to society would only make it worse. Starts the idea of American individuality.
          o American individuality- Being away from the town meant the character was
             becoming his/her own person, a true individual. If you were apart of the town you
             were classified with the majority, you had no individuality.
  3) Conflict between Good and Evil-
         British literature- wrote about love, social and economic class, culture, history, and
          who marries whom.
       American literature- attempts to define what is good and evil. It surrounds the plot of
        the story, the struggles between the two, and focuses on the fact that it is at the core
        of every human being.
4) Differences between the Devil/woods and God/town (society, people)
   Devil/woods: Woods/darkness symbolizes evil.
        o Puritans believed the Devil dwelt in the woods and in the darkness surrounding the
            town. Since the Indians tried to avoid the towns and lived in the woods, they
            believed the Devil had a pact with the Indians. Believed anyone living outside the
            town could be partners with the Devil or susceptible to his call.
    God/town: Church/light/society symbolizes good.
           Puritan towns- church was built first, the prison was built second, and the
            courthouse was built last.
           Believed God only dwelt in the village, not outside it. Center of town was the
            church (God) and the presence of God dwindled further and further from the center
            of town.


                                         Edge of town

               Evil                        Light                        Wilderness

Puritanism- A group of radical English Protestants that arose in the late sixteenth century
who wanted to “purify” the Church of England by eliminating traces of its origins in the
Roman Catholic Church. Hallmarked by an acute sense of sin & fear of divine vengeance.
Conception that God was a stern Old Testament patriarch. Viewed all pleasures as the wiles
of Satan. Ban music, dancing, & the theater. Clung to virtues of prudence, thriftiness, hard
work, courage, and self-reliance. Poverty was considered a sin, on the grounds that it
revealed a lack of enterprise.
   Many Puritans, persecuted in their homeland (put in jail and whipped, their noses slit,
    and their ears lopped off), led by William Bradford, came to America in the 1620s and
    1630s, settling colonies that eventually became Massachusetts.
   The words puritan and puritanical have come to suggest a zeal for keeping people from
    enjoying themselves.
   Many historians feel that the Puritan ethic of thrift, hard work, and sel-fsufficiency
    contributed to the success of capitalism in the New World. Because the Puritans believed
    wealth was a sign of God’s favor, they strove to attain it.
   Puritans believed that Adam and Eve’s sin had damned most people for all eternity. They
    also believed that Jesus Christ had been sent to earth to save particular people, known as
    the “elect.” It was difficult to know for certain if one was saved or damned, so the Puritans
    tried to behave in as exemplary a manner as possible.
   The church had the power to enforce the outward observation of Godly living. Not only
    was a condemned sinner judged by the town, but the church could take away his property
    as well.
   Puritans’ values and beliefs:
       o Total Depravity- all are born sinful; born in sin and will die in sin. In life, one was
          either good or evil, could never be both.
       o Unconditional Election- Predestination: God saves only those He chooses, and
          nothing can be done about it; however, they clung to the hope that living a good life
          would ensure their election. It would follow that if God chose certain people, the
          Devil could do the same (select individuals to be bewitched). Salvation belongs to
          the elect, or God’s chosen, who can be identified by their virtue.
       o The Bible is the literal word of God.
       o Hard work and worldly success are signs of God’s grace.
       o Education is essential in order to read the Word of God
          o A person should be thrifty, modest and simple.
          o Covenants - Society should be ruled by covenants that parallel God’s covenant with
             His people.
          o Limited Atonement- Did not believe or like the New Testament. Believed Christ
             didn’t die for everyone, only the ones God had chosen could be saved. Agreed with
             Old Testament: eye for an eye, public punishment, etc.
          o Public Confessional- Sinners could only be saved if they pronounced their sins
             publicly to the town. If you were guilty of a crime or sin, the whole town should
             know about it. Opposed the idea of individuality.
                   It was meant to take the power out of the church’s hands & put it in the
                    hands of the people. Catch 22- God was the head of state (people), and the
                    religious authorities ruled the state as God’s representatives. So, if someone
                    did confess their sin, it would again put them under the power of the church.
Arthur Miller
Notes for “The Crucible”
     Born: 1915, New York City
     Grew up during the stock market crash of 1929. Dropped out of high school to help
      support his family, later went back, attended the University of Michigan and started to
      write plays. *In 1956, he married illustrious film star Marilyn Monroe.
     Became popular in the postwar period. Known as one of our foremost playwrights.
         1949- won the Pulitzer Prize for “Death of a Salesman”
         1953- wrote “The Crucible”
The Play:
     Although the play depicts the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the audience of that time period
      knew that he was writing about the political climate during1947 and the “communist
     Miller used the information in the Salem courthouse records to create his play and the
      characters involved.
     Arthur’s plays center around the lack of self-knowledge, false values, betrayal, greed as a
      disintegrating force, and the individual’s responsibility to him/herself and to society.
The Crucible:
      Based on Puritanism and the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
      The play has two processes:
          o Generation of hysteria
          o Achievement of moral honesty
      People (courts) believed in witchcraft more than understood mischief of the young. In
       trial, evidence didn’t count; the justices did as they believed.
      Witchcraft- defined by Puritans as those people who made compacts with the devil for the
       purpose of advancing the devil’s work on Earth. Witches would use their evil powers to
       make others possessed or ill, or even cause their death.
      Puritans used witchcraft/witches as a scapegoat. They lacked understanding, which led to
       suspicion, which led to superstition.
      The term “witch hunt” is still used today, not in relation to religion, but to politics.
      Scapegoat- a person/thing/event that can be blamed for all the ills of society and a belief
       that if it’s removed, all the problems will be eliminated.
The Salem Witch Trials
1691 – 1692
      The daughter and niece of Samuel Parris, a minister in Salem village begin dabbling in
      February – the girls start having fits and lesions appear on their skin
      A doctor diagnoses the girls as being victims of witchcraft.
      Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne, two unpopular women from the village, and Tituba, a
       slave from Barbados are accused.
      Sarah Good is condemned
      Tituba “confesses” to being a witch to try to save her own life and claims there is a coven of
       witches in Massachusetts.
      Cotton Mather and other zealous ministers demand that all witches be rooted out and
       severely punished.
      Hundreds of people come forward claiming to be victims of witchcraft
      Jails become overcrowded and a special court is established
      Within the next ten months, about 150 people in the community are accused of witchcraft.
      Neighbors, and people with long standing quarrels turned on one another
       June – September, nineteen people are hanged, and one man, who refused to plead guilty
        or innocent, is crushed to death
       Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that communists had infiltrated the State Department.
       Accusations were backed up by almost no hard evidence, but gained credence at the height
        of the Cold war.
       As Chairman of the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee – summoned
        hundreds of Americans to testify and threatened to brand them as communists if they
        refused to cooperate
       Hundreds of people were “blacklisted” or unofficially prohibited from working in their
        chosen professions.
       McCarthy was ultimately condemned by the Senate in 1954 for his misconduct and abuse
        of power.
                                                Drama Notes
   Tragedy- a drama that ends with the downfall of a main character. That character, the
    tragic hero, has many admirable qualities, but he/she usually makes a single mistake or has a
    single flaw, causing his/her downfall.
   Dialogue- a conversation between characters that often reveals their personalities, motives,
    and intentions.
        Example: Parris~ “Goody Ann, it is a formidable sin
                              to conjure up the dead!”
                              Mrs. Putman~ “…who else may surely tell us
                              what person murdered my babies?”
   Stage directions- instructions written by the playwright to describe sets, costumes, and
    lighting; as well as, the characters’ appearances, actions, motivations, and tones of voice.
        Example:      Elizabeth (with great fear) “I will fear
                      nothing.” (She looks about the room…)
The Crucible
Name     Act I   Act II






Name        Act III   Act IV







Breaking of Charity in The Crucible
                  st                                                                               th
Charity in the 21 Century                                                    Charity in the 17 Century
1. Provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.                      1. Highest form of love
2. Something given to help the needy; alms.                                  2. A translation of the Greek word agape, also meaning
3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the                “love”
   needy.                                                                    3. Equated with being merciful rather than judging others
4. Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward

Puritans tried to live their lives as much as they can in a way that is like Christ’s behavior. This includes being forgiving and loving even
when the people around them were not perfect. But this was a tough behavior to follow through with because they also thought that
people’s bad behaviors were evidence of dangerous, sinful influences. This also meant that they were supposed to be loving rather
suspicious of one another.

Arthur Miller was upset about the injustices he saw in his own period. One of the things that particularly bothered him was the idea that
Americans were supposed to be treated as if they were innocent until proven guilty, while instead many were being treated as if they
were guilty if only suspected of wrong-doing – somewhat similar to the lack of trust in the Salem community in violation of their basic

In both eras, Miller seems to be condemning the communities for being false to the beliefs that they claim to value and suggests that
the reason the communities seem to fall apart because they fail to live up to the basic tenents of their beliefs.

Examples of Charity or the Lacking of Charity in The Crucible

Parris: [to Abigail] What proper payment for my charity. {Charity here is more like the 21 century definition… kindness, etc.}

Rebecca: No, you cannot break charity with your minister. You are another kind, John. Clasp his hand, make your peace. {This is
after Proctor says that he wants to join the faction against Parris. Rebecca (a very well-respected woman) believes that John is a kind
and forgiving person – a good Puritan, so this horrifies her.}

Giles: It suggests to the mind what the trouble be among us all these years. To all: Think on it. Wherefore is everybody suing
everybody else? Think on it now, it’s a deep thing, and dark as a pit. I have been six time in court this year – {Giles is interrupted
before he can explain himself, but he seems to be getting at the idea that rather than being forgiving, everyone seems to be suspicious
of one another and people are frequently taking each other to court over disagreements that could be handled outside of court if they
were more loving and forgiving.}

Parris: You’ll confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba. {We know that Tituba is innocent, but Parris,
Putnam, and Hale seem to only be able to accept a lie as the truth at the end of Act I. This overwhelming suspicion rather than trust
has to do with the lack of charity in their community as a whole.}


Proctor: Spare me! You forget nothin’ and forgive nothin’. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month
since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral marches round
your heart. I cannot speak but I am doubted, every moment judged for lies, as though I come into a court when I come into this house!
{Within the Proctor family there has been a great deal of suspicion and disloyalty. Rather than truly forgiving John when he confesses,
he feels that Elizabeth continues to suspect the worst of him, suggesting a lack of Puritan charity on her part.}

Proctor: [to Hale] Out of my sight.
Hale: Charity, Proctor, charity. What I have heard in her favor, I will not fear to testify in court. {In Hale’s case, he is advising trust in
the charity and Christian forgiveness that is supposed to exist in their community.}


Corey: …I never had no wife that be so taken with books… I have broke charity with the woman… {Corey admits here that because
he didn’t trust his wife and was suspicious of her behavior when he should have been loving and accepting and forgiving he has
irrevocably hurt her.}
The Crucible

Act I Questions

   1. Why has Reverend Parris sent for a doctor as the play begins?
   2. What advice does the doctor send back?
   3. What does Parris question his niece Abigail about?
   4. What is Parris’ main concern?
   5. What did Parris see in the woods the previous night?
   6. What has Elizabeth Proctor said about Abigail?
   7. Why does Abigail say she was dismissed by the Proctors?
   8. What rumors have circulated the town about Betty Parris? What proof later occurs
      that "proves" that she is a witch?
   9. Why did Mrs. Putnam contact Tituba?
   10. Who does Abigail accuse of conjuring spirits at this point?
   11. What does Betty Parris reveal about what happened in the woods?
   12. What threat does Abigail make to the other girls?
   13. What happened in the past between John Proctor and Abigail? How do each of them
      feel about it now?
   14. What is the function of Rebecca Nurse in the play?
   15. How does John Proctor feel about Reverend Parris?
   16. What is the dispute between John Proctor and Thomas Putnam?
   17. Why is Reverend Hale in Salem?
   18. What does Giles Corey reveal to Reverend Hale?
   19. When Abigail is questioned by Reverend Hale, who does she blame? What proof
      does she offer?
   20. What ultimatum is Tituba given?
   21. Who does Tituba accuse of being a witch?
   22. Why does Abigail start accusing people at this point?
   23. Why does Betty Parris start accusing people?
   The Crucible
   Act II Questions
1. At the beginning of this act, John Proctor says, "It is winter in here yet." Why is this
   pertinent to what is going on?
2. Why has Mary Warren disobeyed her employers and gone to Salem?
3. What did Abigail Williams reveal to John Proctor? Elizabeth reminds him of this.
4. Why hasn’t John told the court what he knows? What does Elizabeth attribute his
   not telling to?
5. What lie did John Proctor tell to Elizabeth which makes her more suspicious of
6. What news does Mary Warren reveal to John and Elizabeth about the trials?
7. How does Mary Warren behave towards her employers?
8. What does Mary Warren mean when she says, "I saved her life today!"?
9. What does Elizabeth realize when she finds out that she has been accused?
10. What does Elizabeth ask John to do?
11. Why does Reverend Hale visit the Proctors?
12. How does John Proctor respond to questions about why he has not been to church?
13. What does Reverend Hale ask Proctor to do?
14. Discuss the meaning of "Adultery, John." (page 67)
15. What information does John Proctor reveal to Reverend Hale?
16. What does Reverend Hale want John to do with this information?
17. Why does Elizabeth say that she doesn’t believe in witches at this point?
18. What news does Giles Corey reveal to the Proctors and Reverend Hale?
19. What has Rebecca Nurse been accused of?
20. Why has Martha Corey been accused?
21. Why do Ezekial Cheever and Marshal Herrick arrive at the Proctor home?
22. Explain why Cheever is both astonished and afraid when he finds the poppet with
   the needle in it?
23. What does John ask Mary Warren to do?
24. Why is Mary so afraid to do as he asks?
25. Why does Mary Warren warn John about testifying against Abigail?
26. What does John decide to do?
The Crucible Act III Questions

   1. As this act opens, what accusation does Giles Corey make?
   2. What news do we learn about Rebecca Nurse?
   3. When John Proctor arrives at court with Mary Warren, what does Reverend Prris
      accuse him of?
   4. What two pieces of evidence are brought out against Proctor in regard to his
      Christian nature?
   5. What news does Danforth tell John Proctor about Elizabeth? What deal does he try
      to make with him?
   6. What is going to happen to the 91 people who signed the testament stating a good
      opinion of Elizabeth, Martha Corey, and Rebecca Nurse?
   7. Discuss "Do that which is good , and no harm shall come to thee." (pg 95)
   8. What is Giles Corey’s proof that Thomas Putnam is "reaching out for land."? Why
      won’t he reveal his source?
   9. What happens to Giles Corey?
   10. What is Reverend Hale’s advice to John Proctor as he is about to read his
      disposition before the court?
   11. What does Danforth think Mary Warren’s appearance in the court might be?
   12. When Mary Warren says that she pretended to faint in court, what is she asked to
      do? What is the result?
   13. What does Abigail do when suspicion that she might be pretending falls on her?
   14. What does John Proctor do to discredit her?
   15. Who is called to back up John’s testimony? What happens?
   16. What happens when Reverend Hale states that Abigail has always seemed false to
   17. What is Mary Warren’s reaction to Abigail’s performance?
   18. What does John Proctor mean when he says, "God is dead!"?
   19. What does Hale do when Proctor is arrested?
The Crucible
Act IV Questions

1. Why has Reverend Hale returned to Salem?

2. What is Reverend Hale advising the condemned to do?

3. What does Reverend Parris reveal about his niece Abigail?

4. What is the condition of Salem at this point?

5. How does Andover differ from Salem?

6. How do the proposed hangings of Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor differ from

   the past executions?

7. What does Reverend Parris want Danforth to do?

8. What does Reverend Hale want Danforth to do?

9. What does Reverend Hale mean when he says,"there is blood on my head!"?

10. Why does Danforth refuse to postpone the hangings?

11. What do Hale and Danforth request of Elizabeth Proctor?

12. What happened to Giles Corey?

13. What is John’s excuse for confessing?

14. What is Elizabeth’s proof that John is a good man?

15. How has Elizabeth changed since we first met her?

16. After John confesses, what does Danforth want him to do?

17. Discuss,"I am John Proctor! You will not use me!"

18. What does Hale attribute Proctor’s willingness to hang to?

19. What does Elizabeth attribute it to?

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