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English 12: The Crucible

An Introduction to Arthur Miller's The Crucible and some dominant themes.
by

Jennifer McKee

on 18 April 2011

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Transcript of English 12: The Crucible

The Crucible
- Arthur Miller What is a crucible?
What does it tell us about a play concerning witches?
What are we to expect? Written in 1953 revolving around events that occured in 1692 toward the end of the "popularity" of witch hunts. Born: 1915
Died: 2005 Won the Pulitzer Prize
Married Marilyn Monroe
Wrote "Death of a Salesman" Who are the Puritans? A Sect of Protestantism in the 16th and 17th centuries. "Pilgrims"
Activist movement within the Church- they were extremists
AKA Precisionists.
Greater purity of worship and doctrine.
Personal and Group Piety
Education and culture in general revolved around the Bible.
Strict sexuality
self-examination, accounting for one's feelings and deeds.
Importance of family unit.
Authority and Obedience
Many festivals were banned It was not just Early
Modern Witch-hunts............ 1950's Red Scare Puritan was commonly
a term of abuse. WITCHCRAFT How can you tell
she's a witch? - confessions
- elaborate torture, such as blood
letting, Iron Maiden, the rack.
- attempting to drown the witch Practices
- witches were
commonly accused of
associating with the devil
in numerous ways, such as:
Participating in the witches sabbath
HAving sex with the devil
Signing a pack with the devil- signing their soul away
Doing the devils bidding directly or through familiars. 1. The earth is positioned at the center of the Universe [a decidedly pre-Copernican belief].
2. The world is infused with design and divine purpose.
3. God is omniscient and omnipresent, and the course of every man's life is predestined.
4. God is inscrutable.
5. Death is inevitable, and it is God's punishment for the original sin of Adam.
6. Children are born with and imbued with this original sin.
7. Evil spirits and evil men occupy the earth. In fact, all suffer from "utter and unalterable depravity."
8. Death is a reward, at least for the chosen few.
9. Upon death, the soul is released from its earth-bound world.
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