The Crucible: Background Notes


PART B

Arthur Miller was an American play writer and novelist. He was born in
New York on Oct. 17, 1915, and attended the University of Michigan. He
began his career as a radio script writer. As his lifestyle began to
calm down, Miller decided to marry Inge Morath.

Arthur Miller was well regarded as an excellent American writer. In fact
some critics consider him as having the most serious attempt to gain as
much attention as the Greek and Elizabethan writers did. His talent of
writing began to exceed standards set by other american writers, and
this allowed him to become a two time winner of the New York Drama
Critics Circle Award. His awards did not distract him from his work, as
he continued to win awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, [from the story:
Death of a Salesman (1949)] and the Antoinette Perry Award. Of all these
awards, the one that he may value the most is the gold medal that he was
awarded for dramatic arts from The National Institute of Arts and
Letters in 1959.

As an American writer, Arthur Miller published dramas including:

All My Sons (1947)
Death of a Salesman (1949)
The Crucible (1953)
A View from the Bridge (1955)
A Memory of Two Mondays (1955)
After the Fall (1963)
Incident at Vichy (1964)
The Price (1968)
The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972)

Arthur Miller\'s first and only screenplay that he produced was released
in 1960, and was called "The Misfits", starring Marilyn Monroe. He also
wrote a short story called "I Don\'t Need You Any More", in 1967. His
novels included:

Focus (1945)
In Russia (1969)
In the Country (1969)

Arthur Miller lead an exciting and most interesting lifestyle. For
further information on his life, there is a published autobiography on
Arthur Miller, and it is called "Timebends".



PART A

Question #9

Salem & The Puritans

Salem was originated by the puritans in the early 1600\'s, and is part of
the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It originated eight years after The
Mayflower\'s journey to the "New world". The Mayflower was the first ship
to bring settlers to the Massachusetts area. The new group of settlers
that came, consisted of Puritans.

These People were in search of religious freedom ever since the late
1500\'s, during the time of King James I. They thought that the church of
England treated its people unfairly, and thus disapproved of the church,
believing that it needed "Purification". As the people belonging to this
Puritan group became stronger in spirit and size, they decided to make a
request to King James I to start up their own religious group and make
their own version of the bible. The Kings reply at this time was a mere
approval, but later this caused controversy, and the Puritans were
forced to be taken to the "New world", or face persecution. The first
settlement found by the Puritans was Jamestown, located in Virginia.
Other settlements were also founded by the Puritans this way, one being
Boston.


Salem Witch Hunts

In reality, the story of "The Crucible" is a recreation of certain
events that went on during the early 1700\'s. Because of dramatic
purposes, some of the characters characteristics have been combined into
one character. The number of people in certain scenes have been reduced.
Only the main ones were kept to keep the point of the story stable. Some
of the main characters lived the same lives as told in the story, and
unfortunately some died the same way also.

There are many legends of witchcraft in the Salem area. Most of them are
true, but as time passed on the outline changed. In "The Crucible" it
was noted that Parris was voted from office, and never really heard of
again. Abigale on the other hand turned up becoming a prostitute in
Boston.

Twenty years after the executions of Salem, the government allowed the
victims that were still alive certain compensations. Even though all
seemed to be resolved, it was evident around the town that witchcraft
was still going on, and that some of the truth was still not heard of.
Some of the homes of the victims that were dead remained uninhabited for
more than a century. This all remained a