By Maddie Morningstar
What is The Crucible?
The Crucible is a play written in 1953 by Arthur Miller. The setting is 1692 in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. There is a witchcraft going on in the town, even worse, under the roof of the town’s Reverend Parris. Salem is a Puritan village, meaning that the town believed in religious reforms. Since Salem is a Puritan village, the idea of witchcraft in the reverend’s home is unacceptable. The ones practicing witchcraft include Betty, Reverend Parris’ daughter, and Abigail, Reverend Parris’ niece. Reverend Parris is more concerned with his reputation with the townspeople than the health of his daughter, Betty. Betty has been acting strange and has been in bed unconscious since Reverend Parris found the girls in the forest practicing witchcraft. The girls were practicing witchcraft because Abigail wanted to try a ritual to kill Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of the man who Abigail had an affair with. John Proctor, the man who Abigail wishes to be with, no longer wants a relationship with her. John wants to go back to his life with his wife, Elizabeth. Tituba, the slave of the Parris family, was also caught in the forest that night. Everyone says she is the one to blame and that she works with the Devil. When Tituba is being accused, she says that she is not affiliated with the Devil. Nobody believes her, so she starts accusing other people of being affiliated with the Devil. This then clears her name and now there is panic in Salem on who is practicing witchcraft. The play is an allegory which ties in the historical event of the “Red Scare.” The “Red Scare” was the fear of communists and socialists in the United States after World War II. The fear of witchcraft is the same as the fear of communists.
How Does This Relate to Lisbon?
In American Literature students have started reading The Crucible. They have finished Act 1 and are now starting Act 2 of the play. The learning goals of the unit are: discover how The Crucible functions as an allegory for McCarthy’s Communists Witch Hunts in American History, investigate why the play is called The Crucible and identify and interpret the various tests characters are put through and how they react to strife, and examine how themes develop in works of literature, and how they build and intersect to create a complex narrative that reflects the complexities of real life.
Theater Cedar Rapids
Students have the opportunity to go watch The Crucible in action at Theatre Cedar Rapids. Tickets are around $25 (paid by the student), but will become cheaper if more than ten students sign up. Transportation will be provided to and from Lisbon to the play. Dates possible for Lisbon transportation are Friday March 24th, Saturday March 25th, Friday March 31st, and Saturday April 1st.
If interested, please sign up on the paper located on Mrs. Kibbie’s door!