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"She's a Witch!" The Role of Suspicion and Fear in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

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Katherine Becher

on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of "She's a Witch!" The Role of Suspicion and Fear in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

Shock, fear but extra level of comprehension
bad first reception due to bad production, acc to Miller
at first misunderstanding, then anger, then comprehension brought on by the end of the Cold War and a level of understanding of communism "She's a Witch!" The Role of Suspicion and Fear in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" First recorded witch trial in Salem is "Warrant vs Sarah Good" on February 29th 1692- accused of witchcraft by a party of around 6-10 villagers
Then follows a list of over one hundred accusations plus testimonies.
Most accusations relate to deaths of children or elderly relatives that the "witches" were supposed to have cursed due to a previous hurt with the accuser.
Then in 1712, after around 30 people died either in prison or from execution, a meeting of the congregation discounted the excommunications and compensated the families of those killed in the witch trials. Context of the Trials Link to McCarthyism One of the major players in the trials was suspicion.
How it works
why is it important?
Situation in the novel
Led to increased level of fear-people testifying to save their own lives-naming names Role of Suspicion and Fear p47- Tituba's Confession Quotes to Look At By Katherine Becher What Miller Means by Invoking This Effect This Has on Audience Conclusion Bibliography Hansen, Chadwick (1969), "Witchcraft at Salem", George Braziller Inc., New York
Hill, Frances (2000), "The Salem Witch Trials Reader", Da Capo Press, Massachuettes
Kieckhefer, Richard (1989), "Magic in the Middle Ages", Cambridge University Press, London
Levack, Brain (ed.) (1992), "Witchcraft in Colonial America", Carland Publishing Inc., London
Maxwell-Stuart, P G (ed.) (1999), "The Occult in Early Modern Europe", Macmillan Press Ltd., Basingstoke
Maxwell-Stuart, P G (ed.) (2007), "The Malleus Maleficarum", Manchester University Press, Manchester
Miller, Arthur (1953), "The Crucible", Penguin Classics Inc, London
Parrinder, Geoffrey (1958), "Witchcraft", Faber and Faber, London
Rosenthal, Bernard (1993), "Salem Story", Cambridge University Press, New York
Upham, Charles (1966), "Salem Witchcraft", Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York
Woodward, W (1969), "Records of Salem Witchcraft", Da Capo Press, New York In conclusion, it is clear that suspicion and fear in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" is crucial to revealing the main themes behind the novel as a whole, and also highlighting the link between the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism in 1953. McCarthy 1908-1957- states 205 people Communist in government-specificity scares people
role of China
HUAC
Hollywood Ten
1954: disgraced and thrown out of government for abusing power
"Red Scare" fear and suspicion element Satire- satirizing society's fear and suspicion levels, leading to mass hysteria and widespread chaos
Effect on audience overall to provide a reaction and allow for change of opinion
Invocation of drama-Aristotle's Terms p62-5- Accusation against Goody Proctor p72- Goody Proctor's Arrest p81- Accusations in Court p96- the "proof" p105-Proctor's Arrest Most of Act One p147- the end result and Proctor's confession
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