Arthur Miller_The Crucible NotesPresentation Transcript
Arthur Miller 1915 - 2005
Born October 17, 1915 in New York
More interested in sports than in academics
Graduated during the Great Depression
Poor grades did not allow for scholarship to the University of Michigan. Had to work to pay for college.
Worked for 2 years in an auto parts plant.
Eventually attended U of Michigan.
First job - mouse tender in a university science lab.
Second job - night editor of the Michigan Daily
After graduation, returned to NY & wrote radio scripts
1947 - All My Sons - struck a note that was to become familiar in Miller’s work: the need for moral responsibility in families and society.
1949 - Death of a Salesman
1953 - The Crucible
1964 - After the Fall
1968 - The Price
Crucible has parallels to accusations of the 1950s Communism scare of Senator Joseph McCarthy - “Red Scare” or “Red Hunt”
Writers, actors, & all kinds of other people were summoned to appear before McCarthy to answer the question: “Are you now or were you ever a Communist?”
They were also required to inform on neighbors & friends or be sent to jail.
Most known for …
Winning a Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Marrying Marilyn Monroe (1956)
Refusing to give evidence before the House Un-American Activities Committee
1692 Salem, Mass.
Not successful in first production - critics questioned the comparison between the old witch-hunts and the contemporary hunt for Communists.
Later ran for 600 performances. It is now Miller’s most produced play.
A container made of a substance that can resist great heat, for melting, fusing, or calcining ores, metals, etc.
A severe test or trial
Premise - young girls are caught acting strange - witchcraft is blamed. The girls begin accusing townspeople of influencing and being involved in the “craft.” Mass hysteria takes hold and het witch trials begin. Several members of Massachusetts’ families are accused, jailed, and many are executed.
Suffered religious persecution in Old World
Came to New World for religious freedom
Became persecutors in America (for religious differences of others)