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Westcourt iCentre: English - The Crucible

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The Crucible

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The Crucible examines the witch hunts that took place in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. When he wrote it, Arthur Miller was already a successful playwright. The play also subtly refers to the 'communist witch hunts' in the USA in the 1950s.

Background to the text

The context of 'The Crucible'

During the 17th century in Salem, Massachusetts, there really were witch hunts very much like those depicted in this play. Early settlers in North America had fled from religious persecution in England and other European countries but this did not make them more tolerant. They were very intense about religious purity. By modern standards we might call them religious fanatics. They were very intolerant of 'alternative viewpoints.'  (Source: BBC GCSE Bite-Size)

Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are still studied and performed worldwide. At the time of his death, Miller was considered one of the greatest American playwrights. (Source: Goodreads)

Read more about Arthur Miller.

Image result for mccarthyism


Symbolism in The Crucible & Similarities to McCarthyism

Enemies from Within”: Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s Accusations of Disloyalty and Speech

McCarthyism and Red Scare

Hollywood Blacklist

Political Cartoons

'Enemies from within' : Senator Joe Mc Carthy's Accusations of disloyalty

Literature and culture of the American 1950's

The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts during 1692- 1693.  More than 200 young women were accused of practicing witchcraft and the result was a frenzied series of persecutions and investigations by the local townspeople of Salem. 

Your can read more about this event here:

History Channel - Salem Witch Trials 

Smithsonian Museum - A brief history of the Salem Witch Trials

The Witches of Salem - NewYorker

History of Massachusetts Blog - Witch Trials

The Crucible is a play written by American playwright, Arthur Miller. 

Set in Puritan times in Salem, Massachusetts the play explores themes of intolerance and hysteria during the infamous witch trials which occurred in 1692-3. 

Spark Notes - The Crucible

Cliff Notes - The Crucible

VIEW a summary of the play here

Image result for the crucible infographic

Reading, Viewing, Listening, and Responding to the Text

Persuasive Speech Support

You need to access a variety of media sources for this assignment topic. Consider all forms of media and those which present a variety of viewpoints.

* GLOBAL ISSUES IN CONTEXT is a database which can be searched for information on all topics.

* ISSUES IN SOCIETY is a series of digital magazines which cover current topics of interest. (You can search for these in OLIVER)

PRINT MEDIA - newspapers, magazines TELEVISION - news, commentary
GOOGLE NEWS SEARCH - worldwide news search database ABC Online
GOOGLE SEARCH - filter by type (News) and date SBS News
NEWSSTREAM - Australian newspaper database (from the SLQ) BBC News
TROVE - database of the National Library of Australia CNN
OVERSEAS PUBLICATIONS -  Guardian, Huffington Post, NY Times, Al Jazeera *View specific programs e.g. The Project, Insight
All Australian radio stations TWITTER
Podcasts - provide a forum for sharing stories, experiences, points of view

*Search the Twitterverse to see what users are saying in real time

[You do not need an account]


Use the TWITTER search tool to locate content.  Be aware that there is a difference between your view (personal if you have an account) and a public view.

Social media referencing in APA looks like this:

Tweet from The Guardian newspaper, April 15, 2019

Read around the topic

A History of recent attacks linked to white supremism - Guardian newspaper

White Supremacy as a motivator for crime? - listen to the audio podcast

Articles on White Supremacy - The Conversation

Read around the topic

Social Media Me - a 3 part series about the effects of social media on self-esteem

Why 2018 will be the Year of YouTube moral panic - The Intelligencer, 2018