Our next unit studies Arthur Miller's 1952 play The Crucible, a semi-fictionalized account of the Salem Witch Trials. Miller wrote it during the "Red Scare," a period when Senator Joe McCarthy led a modern-day "witch hunt" through Hollywood and the U.S. Government in search of "Communist spies" (a fantasy which seemed all too believable during the terror of the Cold War). Miller intended the play as a protest against McCarthy's policies, and it proved effective, helping bring him down. As always, our goal is to closely read this work, critically think about it, and produce a piece of carefully-constructed writing defending an original PSYCHOANALYTIC, FEMINIST, THEOLOGICAL or POST-COLONIAL interpretation (in the form of a 4-6 paragraph essay with a secondary source). In the process, we'll learn a bit about Puritanism and theology.
Anne Bradstreet: "Dear Loving Husband"/"Burning of our House"
Governor John Winthrop: "City on a Hill" Rallying Speech
Jonathan Edwards: "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" Sermon
Excerpt from Cotton Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World
"Are You Now or Were You Ever?" by Arthur Miller
"The Disadvantages of an Elite Education" by William Deresiewicz
Modern-Day McCarthyism Pieces from Politico, Inquistr and Business Insider
The Crucible Critical Analysis Essay (Choice)
Mr. Justin Biggs