Understanding The Crucible

This Web page has been designed to assist students to:

  • Compare and contrast the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.
  • Understand the living conditions in Massachusetts in the 1700s.
  • Examine the dynamics of Puritanism in 1692.
  • Gather historical perspectives of American Colonial period.

For ease of study, topics have been divided into 4 categories

  1. American Colonial Period
  2. The Crucible
  3. McCarthyism
  4. Puritanism
  5. Salem Witch Trials

Note: Some of these categories will naturally overlap.

American Colonial Period

Archiving Early America. Exploring the World of Early America through the Media of the Day (newspapers, maps, magazines and writings). Read a page from the 18th century newspaper: The Massachusetts Centinel published on Saturday, April 24, 1790. See Map of 13 Original Colonies. Read the obituaries of famous people from early America. Learn How To Read a 200 Year Old Document, plus many other interesting pages from the Colonial past, e.g. Firsts!! Lives of Famous Early Americans, Gallery of Early American Portraits, Short Films, Notable Women, etc.

http://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/american-colonial-life1.htm

How Stuff Works presents American Colonial Life. A page of information on each of the following topics: Introduction, Economic Life, Domestic Life, Community Life, The 18th Century, and The 13 Colonies.

http://www.kidinfo.com/American_History/Colonization_Colonial_Life.html

Learn about Black History in the Colonies, Clothing, Currency, Economy, Education, Family, Farming, Foods, Gardening, Government, Justice, Manners, Medicine, Music, Newspapers, Occupations, Parks, Religion, Daily Life, and more here.

The Colonial Period. Contents: New Peoples, New England, The Middle Colonies, The Southern Colonies, Society, Schools and Culture, Emergence of Colonial Government, The French and Indian War, and The Witches of Salem.

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1990/5/90.05.04.x.html

American Life: A Comparison of Colonial Life to Today's Life. Site curriculum, complete with vocabulary words, lesson plans, and additional teacher resources.

Daily Life in the Colonies. What would it have been like to live during colonial times? See descriptions of daily life in the Colonies by clicking on different parts of a farm scene.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/colonialhouse/history/index.html

Interactive History. Quiz on surviving in the colonies, interactive Dress Me Up using

colonial styles, and video diaries from those who struggled in the New World.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/revolutionary-war/colonies/life-colonies.htm

Life in the Americas. This site describes living in the New World. Covers farming, governments, slavery, generosity, the witch trials, and Shay's rebellion

Welcome to Colonial Williamsburg. "That the future may learn from the past."The History Explorer includes: Meet the People, See the Places, Colonial Dateline, Experience Colonial Life, and links to additional resources. Teacher Resources include Lesson Plans, Electronic Field Trips, A Day in the Life Video Series, and others.

The Crucible

17th Century Colonial New England with Special Emphasis on the Essex County Witch-Hunt of 1692. Site provides valuable links to other resource material on The Crucible, including: Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction, Hysteria and Ideology in The Crucible, The Arthur Miller Page, and others.

http://asbamericanlit.edublogs.org/files/2011/10/21078735-The-Crucible-Arthur-Miller-2hmdzot.pdf

Read "The Crucible" in its entirety online. Or download a free e-book version. http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/The-crucible/pdf/view

American playwright Miller dies from BBC News. Playwright Arthur Miller, the creator of The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, has died at the age of 89, on 10 Feb. 2005, includes video.

Playwright Arthur Miller dies at age 89 from MSNBC, includes slide show.

An American Classic: Arthur Miller, Enduring Playwright - Online NewsHour: Arthur Miller Discusses His Life and Work with Paul Solman, Feb. 10, 1999. Listen to segment in RealAudio, 11 min. 36 sec. with transcript.

Playbill News: Renowned Playwright Arthur Miller, Author of Death of a Salesman, Is Dead at 89 by Kenneth Jones, Robert Simonson, and Ernio Hernandez.

Arthur Miller - Biography from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Arthur Asher Miller, October 17, 1915 - February 10, 2005. See also Arthur Miller (1915-2005), Arthur Miller Timeline, American Masters: Arthur Miller from PBS, Arthur Miller Trivia.

Arthur Miller: Lesson plans for The Crucible and other plays from Web English Teacher. Selected links to: Arthur Miller Background & Biography and The Crucible.

ClassZone: Language Arts: Novel Guides: The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Theme: When Fear Drives Mass Hysteria. Grades 10-11. Summary: "The Crucible, a historical drama, reflects examples of how a dogmatic society's mistrust of nonconformity can result in injustice. As witchcraft accusations fly in Puritan New England, John Proctor must choose between his own personal safety and the truth." Includes: Theme Openers, Crosscurricular Activities, and Research Assignments.

The Crucible (1996). Reviews of the 1996 film produced by 20th Century Fox. Links to reviews published in Detroit News, San Francisco Examiner, Box Office Magazine, Movieline, Houston Chronicle, and numerous other newspapers and magazines.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,295261,00.html

Movie review of "The Crucible" (1996) film. Reviewed by Owen Glelberman on Entertainment Weekly's website.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Drama. Tragedy. Contemporary. Another article from Summary Central. 16 descriptive paragraphs to help refresh your memory of the play in greater detail. Contents: The Author and His Times, Point of View, Form Structure and Plot, Character, Setting, Themes, Style, Diction, Syntax, Imagery, Symbolism, Figurative Language, Ironic Devices, Tone, Memorable Quotes, and Additional Comments .

Crucible Essay Topics. Over 40 suggested essay topics on The Crucible from Good Essay Topics.

http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/dramatizing-history-arthur-millers-crucible#sect-introduction

Lesson plan for dramatizing history in "The Crucible." The lesson focuses on the historical context, facts vs. fiction, what makes a drama or tragedy compelling, ties between a nation's history and culture and it's literature, and the ways in which an historical event and a work of literature mean something different for different generations of readers.

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/historical-fiction/literature-guide/3498.html

A complete lesson plan for The Crucible. Includes information on the life of Arthur Miller, the characters in The Crucible, an overview, things to discuss before reading, while reading, and after reading, and a bibliography.

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/exploration-crucible-through-seventeenth-30513.html?tab=4#tabs

An Exploration of The Crucible through Seventeenth-Century Portraits. A lesson plan including 5 full sessions, extensions, student assessment/reflections, and resources.

SparkNotes: The Crucible. Contents include: Context, Plot Overview, Character List, Analysis of Major Characters, Themes, Motifs, and Symbols, Summaries for Acts I, II, III, and IV, Important Quotations Explained, Key Facts, Study Questions (Answers provided), Suggested Essay Topics, and a Quiz.

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-crucible-arthur-miller-acts-ii-6170770.html?cat=4Plot Summary and Analysis of The Crucible by Andrew Kennett.

Study Guides on The Crucible:

Book Rags

Novelguide.com

Pink Monkey

ClassicNote

Bookwolf

Summary Central.

http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=-crucible-quiz

Several quizzes on the contents of The Crucible. Or try the quizzes from shmoop.com that cover The Crucible.

http://www.shmoop.com/crucible/quizzes.html

(http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1996/10/21/1996_10_21_158_TNY_CARDS_000373902) Introduction by The New Yorker to the the article Life and Letters: Why I Wrote "The Crucible" An Artist's Answer to Politics by Arthur Miller. Also with the digital archive of the original article. http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=1996-10-21#folio=158

McCarthyism

The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents. Contents: Communism and National Security: The Menace Emerges, The Growth of the Anti-Communist Network, The State Steps In: Setting the Anti-Communist Agenda, Congressional Committees and Unfriendly Witnesses, Blacklists and Other Economic Sanction, Interpreting McCarthyism, and The Legacy of McCarthyism.

Hollywood Blacklist by Dan Georgakas in Buhle, Buhle, and Georgakas, ed., Encyclopedia of the American Left Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

How did McCarthyism limit American political debate and freedom of speech in the 1950s? Site includes a video from CNN: McCarthyism during the Cold War. Lecture Outline: McCarthyism and Conformity in 1950s America, McCarthyism and Anti-communist Paranoia, and McCarthyism's affect on Americans' lives. Questions on McCarthyism. Web Links on McCarthyism.

HUAC, McCarthy, and the Reds. A brief timeline, from 1908 to 1957 (dates of birth and death of Senator Joseph McCarthy), on House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), the role played by McCarthy against Communism.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~lillsie/McCarthyism/homepage.html

Senator Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare. Biography of Joe McCarthy, background on the Red Scare, information on McCarthyism in its time, the downfall of McCarthy, and the aftermath.

Kazan and Miller. "Long, Bitter Debate From the '50's: Views of Kazan and His Critics" by Richard Bernstein, from New York Times, May 3, 1988.

McCarthyism from PBS.

McCarthyism. On February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Republican from Wisconsin, claimed to have a list of 205 people in the State Department who were members of the American Communist Party.  The possibility of communist subversion caused some people to lose their jobs when they admitted to have been Communist Party members. To save their own skins, accused Communist Party members had to expose other members of the Party during McCarthy's investigations. The ensued witch-hunt and anti-communist hysteria was known as McCarthyism.

Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective. A brief summary of Richard Fried's book about the 1950's when Americans were experiencing the beginnings of fevered anti-communism that came to be known as McCarthyism.

http://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/mccarthyism.htm

How Stuff Works presents how McCarthyism worked in an essay and photos.

The Politics of Scholarship: Liberals, Anti-Communism, and McCarthyism. An academic paper that analyzes the McCarthy phenomenon. See also The Legacy of McCarthyism for a different analysis of McCarthyism.

Victor Navasky's Naming Names. A general description of Hollywood blacklisting, from Chapter 10, Degradation Ceremonies in Victor Navasky's book Naming Names, published by New York: Viking Press, 1980.

http://www.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol3_1/beyer.htm

International Journal of Baudrillard Studies: McCarthyism Today by Mary Beyer and Michael Beyer.

Puritanism

The American Sense of Puritan. An in depth analysis of Puritanism and its historical roots. Includes a short analysis of the Salem Witchcraft as it related to Puritan beliefs.

http://www.oocities.org/c2777/lhc/tpw.html

The Puritan Way. Essay on the basic background of The Puritan Way and some of the common misconceptions about Puritans

http://www.history.com/topics/puritanism

History Chanel's information on the Puritans. Background, Puritanism, and Separatists and American Puritanism.

Puritanism: General Information. From A Christ Walk Church.

http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/purdef.htm

Puritanism in New England. Includes the definition of puritanism, beliefs, covenant, the New England Way, church membership, the Half-way Covenant, and the Plain Style.

Salem Witch Trials

The 1692 Salem Witch Trials: Documents and Participants. From the Salem Witchcraft Papers. Contents: Complete court documents (Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692), Accusers, Defenders, Accused, "Afflicted Girls" (their names, place of residence, and location on map), Jurors, Puritan Ministers, and Judges.

17th c. Colonial New England with Special Emphasis on The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Includes numerous links to primary sources, e.g. texts of writings from the 17th century (court papers, first-person accounts of events, wills and deeds, image scans of actual documents, and more). Includes Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Fact & Fiction.

Accused of Witchcraft. Case history of individuals accused of witchcraft, some were from Salem, Massachusetts, others from as far away as England and Germany.

The Carey Document: On the Trail a Salem Death Warrant. See color photo of the actual Salem Death Warrant for Martha Carey, dated Salem, Massachusetts, June 10, 1692.

Days of Judgment: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Series of lesson plans developed by teachers and the Peabody Essex Museum for students Grades 6-12. The entire Days of Judgment curriculum (52 pages) is available for download in PDF format.

Famour American Trials: Salem Witchcraft Trials 1692. Contents: Chronology, Cotton Mather (Minister of the Old North Church in Boston), Biographies, Arrest Warrant, Examinations and Evidence, Petitions of Accused Witches, Death Warrant and List of Dead, Letters of Governor Phips, Petitions for Compensation, Images, The Crucible (by Arthur Miller, 1952), Bibliography & Links. Includes An account of the Salem witchcraft investigations, trials and aftermath by Law Professor Douglas Linder.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nwa/witch.html

Accused of Witchcraft. A list of the women accused of witchcraft and a brief description of their life and case. Many have links to further biographical information.

http://www.salemfocus.com/Victims.htm

Salem Witch Trials - The 20 Victims. The Salem Witch Trials victims, their basic biography, and what happened to them during their trials.

Life and Times of Bridget Bishop. Biography of Bridget Bishop, the first woman to be put on trial in the historical Salem witch hunts. She was found guilty of being a witch and was hanged on June 10, 1692.

http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sonyapl/witch/

Mary Perkins Bradbury - Convicted Witch?? The story of Mary Perkins Bradbury’s trial, conviction, and aftermath. Includes some courtroom quotes.

Milestone Historic Events. See original documents depicting milestone events in the U.S. as they actually appeared in the 1700s in newspapers, magazines, books and pamphlets.

National Geographic - Salem Witchcraft Hysteria. Interactive online game. Experience the Trial. Find out what happens if you confess to witchcraft. Find out what happens if you deny that you are a witch and claim that you are innocent. All events portrayed in this feature are based upon historical records.

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/history/salem-witch-trials/

Kid friendly overview of the Salem Witch Trials.

Possible Causes of the Salem Witch Hunts. An anonymous author gives reasons for causes of the witch hunts: "Salem villagers were ... simply acting out their economic, political and social frustrations by blaming an intangible force."

Salem witch craft trial. In 1692, a mass hysteria occurred in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. 140 arrests, 19 hangings, one crushed by rocks, and several dying in jail while awaiting their trial. Everything that occurred was done in the name of ridding Salem of its supposed witches.

http://totallyhistory.com/salem-witch-trials/

Salem witch trial facts. Learn about the Puritan superstitions that started the Salem Witch Hunts, discover the village relationships and the influence of the church over the village. Find out what types of evidence was used to condemn the women. Also includes information on the accused and their trials.

The Salem witch hunts. The Salem witch-hunt was the largest witch-hunt in colonial New England. 350 people were accused of witchcraft in New England; 185 of those were in Salem.

Salem Witch Museum: 1692 Sites Tour. Click on the town and city names on the map to view pictures (where available) and read about the sites in these locations. Locations include Salem, the scene of the witchcraft trials in 1692. View map of Salem to see the Site of the Courthouse in 1692, Site of Meetinghouse of First Church, Charter Street Cemetery, Superior Court Building, Broad Street Cemetery, Summit of Gallows Hill, etc.

Salem Witch Trials. A Complete History in short paragraphs with links to related articles.

The Salem Witch Trials. Contents: Salem Witchcraft, Trial Transcripts, Your Thoughts, The Accused, The Victims, Biographies, and FAQ with questions such as Were the victims of the Salem witch trials burned at the stake? What caused the Salem witch trials? What ended the trials? What is spectral evidence? Did witches really exist in Salem?

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/salemwitchtrials/

Salem Witch Trials - The World Behind the Hysteria. Information and photos on life in 1692 Salem, a 6-minute video reliving the events of 1692 Salem, and information of 6 of the main players during the Salem Witch Trials: Cotton Mather, Anne Putnam, Tituba, Sarah Good, John Proctor, and Mary Easty.

Salem Witch Trials. Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. Contents: 17th Century Documents & Transcriptions (Original Court Records, Record Books), Historical Maps (Map of Salem Village 1692, Map of Andover 1692, Map of Witchcraft Accusations February 29 - March 31, 1692, Province of Mass Bay 1692, Salem 1692), Archival Collections, Contemporary Books, and Project Mission.

Salem Witch Trials - The People. From About.com. Contents: Individuals involved in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692: accusers, accused, judges and others in Salem Village and the wider Puritan community. Includes biographies, testimony, petitions and other documents.

Salem Witch Museum - Salem Massachusetts. Salem 1692 Sites Tour, Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

The Salem Witch Trials 1692: A Chronology of Events.  Daily summaries of the witch trials from January 20 to November 25, 1692. Includes links to Witch Trials Memorials depicting the stones dedicated to the victims of the Salem Witch Trials.

Secrets of the Dead II. Case 1. Background - The trouble in Salem began during the cold dark Massachusetts winter, January, 1692. Clues and Evidence - Possible cause of strange behavior might be Ergotism (ergot poisoning) which had indeed been implicated in other outbreaks of bizarre behavior. Interview with Linnda Caporael, Behavioral Psychologist, who believes ergot poisoning was possible in the 16th century. Site also provides an interactive exploration of Salem.

Today in History: March 1. On March 1, 1692, Salem, Massachusetts authorities charged Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and a slave woman, Tituba, with practicing witchcraft.

What About Witches. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 - A Brief Introduction, Photo of the Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts, Photo of the Salem Witch Trials Tercentenary memorial dedicated in 1992. Site also explains the word "Witch" for in order to understand the Salem witch trials, it is necessary to know the 17th-century definition of witchcraft.

Witchcraft Archives. Links to Holdings of various archives from University of Virginia Special Collections Department.

Witchcraft Collection from Cornell University Library.

Witchcraft, Religious Fanaticism and Schizophrenia - Salem Revisited. Author points out that Puritan religious fanaticism was evident in Massachusetts a few years before 1692 and explains the role of Puritanism in the cause and actions of the witch hunt in 1692.

http://www.salemtarot.com/index.html

Salem Tarot: The Wisdeom of Tarot and the Magic of Salem Witchcraft. Discover the history of the Salem Witch Craft Trials through the lens of Salem Tarot. Includes information on the history of the Trials and witchcraft in Salem today.