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The Crucible and other witch hunts

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Give a basic description of Puritan life:

  • the Puritans were a very religious group of people. They shunned everything that was bad and devil like. They had a simple, traditional and peaceful lifestyle. What are 5 major changes that Miller made in The Crucible?
  • In the Crucible Miler made many changes but one of the most interesting ones was when he changed the age of Abigail Williams from 11 to 17 so she could date John Proctor who was much older. In the play it also said that Rev. Parris graduated from Harvard; however, he did not graduate from there, he dropped out before graduation. Another example is in the play the nurse, John Proctor, and Martha Corey were hanged on the same day. This isn’t true because the nurse was hanged on July 19, John of August 19, and Martha on September 22. There were also some important people and events that happened in real life that were not in the play. For example, John Indian, Rev. Nickolas Noyes, Sarah Cloyce, and Cotton Mathers were never in the play but played an important role in real life. Another one of the most interesting changes was when elderly George Jacobs was accused of sending spirits in through the window to lie on the Putnam’s daughter in the play; however, in real life Bridget Bishop was accused of sending her spirit into men’s bedrooms to lie on them. Why do you think he changed these things? How did it help the plot? Do you think the play would have been as good if he didn’t take these artistic liberties?
  • He changed these things in the story to keep the viewer interested, and make the plot move along smoothly. I don’t think the play would have been as popular if it were more factual. Viewers enjoy watching things that are entertaining, that is why it is important to add details and tweak existing detail. What do you think was the major cause of the witch trials? Why?
  • One of the major causes for the witch trials was religion. The community was populated by mostly Christian people. They believed that witch craft was a form of talking to the devil and drawing the devil to their town. This made them want to get rid of or kill the people that were practicing witchcraft. How do you think the witch trials could have been avoided?
  • I think the witch trials could have been avoided if the people just practiced what they preached. They said they were Christians, but they weren’t acting very godly when faced with diversity. If they would have been more caring and understanding, then this whole thing could have been avoided. McCarthyismWhat events and accusations started the hysteria that led up to McCarthyism?
  • Fear of communists taking over spread like a wild fire after the war. People feared nuclear havoc, because the Soviet Union set off their first A-bomb. It was also startling that China became full of communists to Americans. There was also a new threat every week which left Americans uneasy. What are some examples of discrimination during the accusations, and to what degree do you think discrimination was a cause of the hysteria?
  • One example of discrimination was when communists were said to be putting secret messages into films and unsympathetic colleagues were looked at as suspicious. Another example would be when leftist images were put in Hollywood films. They had to note that Russian workers shouted “tovarich” and they had to cite the smiling children. Discrimination was the main cause of the hysteria, because if people weren’t fighting and disagreeing with each other then there wouldn’t have been a mass hysteria. What do you think was the major cause of what McCarthy did?
  • I think that McCarthy started McCarthyism because he wanted attention. He wanted to make a name for himself and be well known. It didn’t go as planned, because people started to hate him and hate what he was doing. When he was confronted with this conflict he just ran off and didn’t handle the situation properly. How did it affect the lives of the accused?
  • The people that were accused were treated poorly by most in the public; however, it didn’t just stop at mumbles on the street when they walked past someone. For so many of them there lives and jobs were at stake. At the start of McCarthyism more than 2,000 government employees lost their jobs due to impending investigations. How did the general public react to accusations of communism?
  • At the start of McCarthyism many people overlooked the elites that acted suspicious; however, after the first few years the public started to get more opinionated. They started to question more people and didn’t filter who they were accusing.

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