The Crucible still has permanence and relevance a half century after its initial publication. This powerful political drama set amidst the Salem witch trials is commonly understood as Arthur Miller's poignant response to McCarthyism. Filled with fresh essays about the play, the new edition of this invaluable literary guide features a bibliography and notes on the essay contributors.
"The 1953 premiere of The Crucible confirmed Arthur Miller's reputation as one of America's most important and serious playwrights as it underscored the earlier success of Miller's Pulitzer Prize winning drama, Death of a Salesman. While dealing with the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, The Crucible reveals Miller's concern with issues of individual conscience and guilt by association - issues that were manifest in the social and political problems of his own time. The drama is both a historical play of 17th-century colonial America and a parable about the communist witch-hunts in the United States of the 1950s. Miller uses the moral absolutism of Puritan Salem to parallel the infamous congressional hearings led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. The events which frame Miller's tragic drama are separated by some two hundred and sixty years, but are joined by circumstances where elements of disparate societies seek only evidence of guilt and ignore or suppress all evidence to suggest otherwise. With universal themes that transcend time and place, including national borders, The Crucible remains one of the most often produced American plays worldwide." "In The Crucible: Politics, Property, and Pretense, James J. Martine extends his analysis beyond the standard critical appraisals that compare the drama's setting only to the time in which it was written - the McCarthy era. Martine examines in detail Miller's historical sources and the ways in which he adapted this material to his contemporary audience. Martine suggests the play should be "read" within a variety of contexts, that is, as a product of and reaction to the McCarthy era, as a milestone in the development of Miller's work, as an exemplar of the genre of tragedy, as part of the tradition of American theatre, and as a basis for later adaptations. in his discussion, Martine considers both the written text and the play as public performance. He examines the play's settings, props, and exits and entrances, and draws attention to the various ways in which Miller built these directions about the play's performance into the written text. Martine argues convincingly that The Crucible should not be approached as a monochromatic written text as it often has been, but as a multifaceted performance text. His study includes photographs of a contemporary staged production, in addition to commentary on Robert Ward's Pulitzer prize-winning opera based on Miller's drama. Martine's multi-leveled exploration enables the reader to understand and thus appreciate The Crucible and Arthur Miller more fully."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In this State Standards-aligned Literature Kit™, we divide the novel by chapters or sections and feature reading comprehension and vocabulary questions. In every section, we include Before You Read and After You Read questions. The Before You Read activities prepare students for reading by setting a purpose for reading. They stimulate background knowledge and experience, and guide students to make connections between what they know and what they will learn. The After You Read activities check students' comprehension and extend their learning. Students are asked to give thoughtful consideration of the text through creative and evaluative short-answer questions and journal prompts. Also included are writing tasks, graphic organizers, comprehension quiz, test prep, word search, and crossword to further develop students' critical thinking and writing skills, and analysis of the text. About the Novel: The Crucible is the award-winning play written by Arthur Miller about the Salem witch trials of 1692. One night in Salem Massachusetts, a group of girls are caught dancing in the woods by Reverend Parris. His own daughter falls into a coma soon after, and the town is ablaze with talks of witchcraft. The Reverend sends for Reverend Hale to examine the girl for witchcraft. Hale concludes that the town of Salem is in fact engulfed in witchcraft as one by one the girls accuse other townspeople of communing with the devil. A trial ensues causing those accused to either deny these allegations, or confess, thus accusing someone else. This cycle finally culminates in the death of several innocent townsfolk. The Crucible is a historical dramatization of true events that show reputation is more important than admitting ignorance. All of our content is aligned to your State Standards and are written to Bloom's Taxonomy.