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"The Crucible PowerPoint." Preble's Literature Lounge. Web. 11 Mar 2010. <http://lpreble.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/crucible.ppt>. This is the basis for Arthur Miller’s screenplay, The Crucible. Who was executed, why? -In the 1600s, Puritans settled on the East coast of the United States. -They brought with them the hope of religious freedom, but instead became embroiled in hysteria over the existence of witches. -They had been persecuted in their native England, but they created a theocracy and eventually persecuted others. -Most of those accused of being witches were women. -Many were healers, and used plants to heal people. -Many were without family, and this made them easy targets. -They were people who did not fit in with the mainstream for some reason. Why did it happen? -It began as a way for the oppressed girls to avoid being punished. -It then became an ideal way to get revenge on anyone whom you disliked. -People started accusing their neighbors of being witches so they could steal their farmland. -People accused others of being witches if they wanted to steal their husbands or wives or possessions. Arthur Miller Born in New York in the family of Isidore, a moderately rich jewish ladies wear manufacturer and shopkeeer, and Augusta Miller; His family was ruined in the Great Depression and he had to work in automobile parts warehouse to earn money for college Studied journalism, but graduated in English from the University of Michigan. His decision to become a writer was under the impression of Dostoevski’s The Brothers Karamazov Married his college sweetheart Mary Slattery. The Purpose Behind The Crucible The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller in 1953 as an allegory for McCarthyism or the so called (second) Red Scare. Miller felt many personal convictions to McCarthyism as a result of a multitude of events that happened in his life. Wanting to point out to the world the amazing parallel between the unjust Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and the (second) Red Scare from 1948 to 1956, Miller wrote The Crucible to make a powerful statement about the dangers of hysteria and the dehuman- ization that can result. McCarthy and The “Red Scare” Senator McCarthy accused many people— actors, writers, people in media, people in the military — of being Communists. He held hearings where people were commanded to give names of other Communists in order for leniency. People were afraid they might be named as Communists, and it was called the Red Scare. (‘Red’ was a word used for a Communist.) The Crucible was Arthur Miller’s way of protesting the House Unamerican Activities Committee hearings. He compared the Communist hearings to the witch hunts of Salem, where gossip, rumors, and fear were evidence enough to convict people. The term “witch hunt” now applies to any activity where people are looking for a scapegoat or where they are using accusations to get revenge or to get personal gain or attention.
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