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Chemistry LibreTexts


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  • Introduction


    Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible to both understand and to comment on a brief but turbulent episode in American history that he and the country had just survived.  This was the hunt for communists led by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.  Because of the near hysteria surrounding this national hunt for communists shortly after World War II, playwright Miller equated it with the hunt for witches in the 1690s in colonial New England, most specifically in the village of Salem, Massachusetts.

    Essential Questions

    • How did McCarthyism influence Arthur Miller to write The Crucible?
    • What was Miller's purpose in writing about the Salem Witch Trials?
    • What are the major themes found in the play?
    • Is Miller's portrayal of the Puritans accurate?

    Key Terms in this Unit