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Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"  

Resources to help you prepare, review, and immerse yourself in required class literature for a better understanding of literature.
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2014 URL: http://libguides.huhs.org/crucible Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
The Crucible Print Page
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Prepare

Understanding the historical and cultural context of colonial Puritan society will help you to understand both cultural norms and individual character behaviors while reading.  

 

In the Library

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Readings on The crucible - Thomas Siebold, ed.
Call Number: 812.52 SIE
ISBN: 1565108493
Publication Date: 1999
A collection of critical essays, along with biographical information about Miller, discussion of major themes, and an annotated table of contents.

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Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials - Marc Aronson
Call Number: 133.4 ARO
ISBN: 078626442X
Publication Date: 2004
Presents information for young people on what really happened in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, when a group of girls and young women accused certain people in the village of witchcraft, leading to the executions of innocent men and women.

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The McCarthy Era - Kathleen Tracy
Call Number: 973.91 TRA
ISBN: 1584156945
Discusses the era of Joseph McCarthy, a politician who was obsessed with finding communists within the U.S. and who persecuted thousands of Americans' careers and lives with his unfounded public accusations.

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Living Through the Red Scare - Derek C. Maus, ed.
Call Number: 320.973 LIV
ISBN: 0737729155
Presents twelve essays on the Cold War Communist threat written by Ronald Reagan, Joseph McCarthy, and others on topics such as reprisals against teachers and suppression of free speech, the Hollywood film industry, the Alger Hiss trial, and more.

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Good Night, and Good Luck
Call Number: VID 324.7 GOO
ISBN: 1419818201
It's 1953, and the piece of talking furniture called TV is still a novelty in America's living rooms. On it, Sen. Joseph McCarthy uses fear, falsehoods and belligerence to become arguable the most powerful man in the land. On it, newsman Edward R. Murrow, who's had his fill of the senator's tactics, fights back.

 

Read

Arthur Miller's Crucible:  The Script Online
Published by a California School district, the script is available, in it's entirety, here. Transcription not verified.

Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist's Answer to Politics
By Arthur Miller, this essay was published in The New Yorker on October 21, 1996 before the author's death.

The Weird Gathering 
One of many poems written by John Greenleaf Whittier regarding the incident. 

Giles Corey of Salem Farms
Interesting poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in play script format!

The Crucible Opera
Based on Miller's play, this opera by Robert Ward was first produced in 1961.
 

 

Explore

Chronology of Events
A succinct timeline of the historical Salem witch trials.

The Salem Witchcraft Trials, 1692
Part of University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Professor Douglas O. Linder's "Famous Trials" series, provides access to many primary source documents related to the historical Salem Witch Trials, as well as critical consideration of causes and effects.

The 1692 Salem Witch Trials: Documents and Participants
Complete colelction of court documents related to the Salem Witch Trials, including writings by the judges, maps, and petitions for compensation by victims.

List of the Accused
Interesting table of those accused of witchcraft in the early New England period that highlights both consequences and compensations.

Some Miscellany Observations On Our Present Debates Respecting Witchcrafts
This text represents important public conversation about the witchcraft trials, and is based on the digital images of Sam Willard's book, located in it's original at the  Massachusetts Historical Society archives.

A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches
This letter, associated with Increase Mather's work, includes a brief, purportedly eye-witness account of the trial of Sarah Dustin/Dastin. 

Cornell University Library Witchcraft Collection
Containing over 3,000 titles documenting the history of inquisition and persecution of witchcraft, including court depositions taken from the victims in the torture chamber.  All texts available online! 

17th Century Colonial New England  
This is a truly comprehensive collection of resources emphasizing history as it relates to the Salem witch trials.  Worth your time to explore! Be sure to check out all the links on the left-hand navigation bar.

Witchcraft Accusations: February 29 - March 31, 1692
A really neat interactive map that shows the geographical progression of the witchcraft accusations in Salem Village in March 1692.  

Colonial House Interactive History
Sponsored by PBS, this site offers 360-degree QuickTime VR panoramic views of colonial life.  Explore the site for some quick interactive play!

Salem: Witchcraft Hysteria
Experience the hysteria on this National Geographic website. After reading the intro, begin with the prologue. From there you will enter the experience. The epilogue offers more ways to explore the period.

Case File: The Witches Curse
An interesting overview of Linda Caporeal's investigation into the possibility that ergot poisoning was responsible for the bizarre behavior in Salem.

 

Want more?

There are many books based on the period of the Salem witch trials.  Below is sampling found in our library.

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Witch Child - Celia Rees
Call Number: FIC REE
ISBN: 0763618292
In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare
Call Number: FIC SPE
ISBN: 0440995779
In 1687, Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her Aunt, befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft.

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Wicked Girls : a Novel of the Salem Witch Trials - Stephanie Hemphill
Call Number: VERSE FIC HEM
ISBN: 0061853283
A fictionalized account, told in verse, of the Salem witch trials, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692--Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam, Jr.

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The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent
Call Number: FIC KEN
ISBN: 031602449X
Sarah Carrier and Martha, her mother, who live on the family farm in Andover, Massachusetts, endure a dispute with Sarah's uncle about their plot, and when reports of supernatural activity in nearby Salem escalate into mass hysteria, people begin accusing Martha and her family of being witches.

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Beyond the Burning Time - Kathryn Lasky
Call Number: FIC LAS
ISBN: 0590473328
When, in the winter of 1691, accusations of witchcraft surface in her small New England village, twelve-year-old Mary Chase fights to save her mother from execution.

 

And finally....

In the Doctor Who novel, The Witch Hunters, the first Doctor, along with his granddaughter and others visit Salem in the midst of the trials.  Historical (and literary figures) including Rebecca Nurse, Abigail Wililams, John Proctor and others are major characters.  

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