The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Did you know that this 1952 play was based on the REAL witch trails in Danvers, Massachusetts in the late 1600s? The play was written 300 years later by Miller because of McCarthyism, an era in the early 1950s in which the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists.

Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities and convicted of “contempt of Congress” for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended.

In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, the Salem witch trials of 1692 are used as a parallel to the persecution faced by Communist supporters during the 1950's.

Miller believed that the singling out of Communists was no different from the witch-hunts in Salem. The themes in this play are still relevant to our world today.

Fear of what we don't understand still creates hysteria among the population, while suppression of free thought continues to be an ethical concern across the world. Reputation also remains an important value to individuals, in particular people in the public's interest.

The play was written as an allegory to draw the parallels between the 1692 witch trials and the 1952 communist witch hunt.

You will have ONE HOUR to complete the test. You are encouraged to use your book. You are on your honor to use ONLY your book, as you will do when we take in-class exams. Good luck!

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English Instructor/Internship Supervisor
West Central High School
Hartford, SD

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