THE CRUCIBLE - Arthur Miller


Mind map exploring themes for interesting essay points of note.
Amy Van Zyl
Mind Map by Amy Van Zyl, updated more than 1 year ago
Amy Van Zyl
Created by Amy Van Zyl almost 11 years ago

Resource summary

THE CRUCIBLE - Arthur Miller
  1. Context
    1. Examines witch hunts that took place in 17th Century Salem, Massachusetts.
      1. Early settlers in N.America had fled from religious prosecution in England and Europe
        1. Intense about religious purity - lived simple lives in small, claustrophobic communities.
          1. Modern standards - 'religious fanatics'
            1. Intolerant of alternative viewpoints
          2. Subtly refers to 'communist witch hunts' in USA, 1950s
            1. 1950s America went through a period of intense fear of the spread of the anti-capitalist economic system, communism.
              1. The government organised an investigation to identify communists and eradicate their positions of influence. Often referred to as 'communist witch hunt'.
            2. Written when Miller was already successful playwright
            3. The author - Miller
              1. Jewish parents were both immigrants from Poland. They came to America at a time when people were looking for the economic and religious freedom of 'the American dream'.
                1. Link to puritans fmigrating to Salem to practice religion and way of life freely
                2. Miller's family were well off until the financial crisis in America (wall street crash) in 1920s. Huge impact upon ruined family, affected young Arthur.
                  1. He viewed it as the failure of the American dream and of the Capitalist economic system on which his family had built their hopes of a better life.
                    1. Capitalism focuses on the individual and capital (money)
                      1. The Pigs, led by Napoleon, ordering jam and focousing on increased profits on the farm
                  2. Miller himself appeared before the House committee of Un-American Activities in 1956. as did many of his influential writer and theatre friends.
                  3. Underlying themes
                    1. Portrays witch hunting as something deep within the origins of the American society. Miller shows the witch hunting arising from a variety of motives; unbounded fear, jealousy and revenge.
                      1. Scape goating/landing blame
                        1. It portrayed an ugly and unflattering image of American society and the human condition
                          1. Far from the way that Americans and humanity like to view themselves.
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