Puritans

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PURITANISM
&
THE CRUCIBLE
PURITAN LIFE AND RELIGION
• The Puritans were an
English religious group
who came to America
to practice their religion
without interference
from the Church of
England.


• The Puritans were
pilgrims, but not all
pilgrims were Puritans.
• Most Puritans settled in
towns in coastal
Massachusetts just
slightly north of Boston.
The Puritans had their own
unique community and
cultural practices, most of
them based on their
religious beliefs.
It is important for us to
understand the Puritan
customs and culture
before we can begin
reading The Crucible,
which takes place in one
of these Puritan
communities: Salem,
Massachusetts.
PURITAN LIFE AND RELIGION
• Like their counterparts in Britain they were extreme
Calvinistic Protestants who viewed the Reformation
as a victory of true Christianity over Roman
Catholicism and the Church of England.
• Puritans believed the universe was God-centered,
and that man, inherently sinful and corrupt, rescued
from damnation only by divine grace, was duty
bound to do God’s will, which he could understand
best by studying the Bible and the universe which
God created and controlled.
PURITAN LIFE AND RELIGION
• In a time when hatred and persecution existed
between many denominations, every denomination
in Europe hated and persecuted the Puritans.
• One small group after another boarded ships and
came to America.
THE PURITAN WAY
• In the 18th Century, following
the teaching of the English
philosopher John Locke, the
Puritan influence emerges.
• John Locke's influential
books include: "A Letter
Concerning Toleration", "Two
Treatises of Government",
"Essay on Human
Understanding", and "The
Reasonableness of
Christianity".
• The Puritans felt that they
were chosen by God for a
special purpose and that
they must live every moment
in a God-fearing manner.
• Puritans rejected the rituals
and extravagant buildings
of the major denominations
in Europe.
• Puritans emphasized
individual conscience
before God, and rejected
the doctrine of organized
religion.
• Puritans, sometimes called
Separatists, are those who
reject the organized
denominations' claims of
authority.
THE PURITAN WAY
RELIGION PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN PURITAN LIFE.
• Puritans were required
to read the Bible which
showed their religious
discipline. If they did
not read the Bible, it
was thought that they
were worshiping the
devil.
• The Sabbath began at
sundown the night
before, and the
evening was spent in
prayer and Bible study.
• Preparations for the
Sabbath began in
advance. All of the food for
the day had to be cooked
and clothes ready before
sundown on the day before
so prayer could begin.
• No labor, not even sewing,
could be done on the
Sabbath.
• Every man, woman, and
child was expected to
attend the meeting on the
Sabbath without question.
STRICT ORDER IN THE CHURCH
• The church was usually a
small bare building. Upon
entering people would take
their appropriate places.
• The men sat on one side, the
women sat on the other, and
the boys did not sit with their
parents, but sat together in a
designated pew where they
were expected to sit in
complete silence.
• The deacons sat in the front
row just below the pulpit
because everyone agreed
the first pew was the one of
highest dignity.
• The servants and slaves
crowded near the door, into
a loft, or a balcony.
• The service began with a
prayer given by the minister
that usually lasted around
an hour.
• Puritans did not like music
in their services. They also
felt that music and
celebrating were not
appropriate in the church
meeting house. It was
many years before any
musical instruments were
allowed in the church.
STRICT ORDER IN THE CHURCH
• The service began with a prayer given by the
minister that usually lasted around an hour. The
minister would continue with an emotional
sermon. The minister's sermon would last for
two, three, even four hours at a time without
restroom breaks or intermissions. The Puritans
listened intently to the terrible warnings of sin
and punishment.
• Church Deacons (such as this one) kept strict
order in the church. Using this "staff," deacons
would poke anyone misbehaving in church.
(In this illustration, the boy is being punished for
turning around to talk to his friend.)
• Churches were unheated and for many
months of the year and in the winter were
unbearably cold. Women carried small footstoves from home full of hot coals which were
used to warm their feet during the church
service.
STRICT ORDER IN THE CHURCH AND
THE COMMUNITY
• Also formed religious oligarchies (control of
an area by a small group of people, often for
their own purposes) and sought to establish a
purified church—which meant the frequently
harsh imposition of religious uniformity upon
an unwilling populace.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS
ABOUT PURITANS :
THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS
• the Salem witch trials
were not typical of
Puritan life. In more
than 400 years of
Puritan history there
were only two such
incidents.
• The most infamous
occurrence involving
the Puritans were the
events that transpired
in Salem, Mass. in
1692.
•
The events which led
to the witch trials in
Salem actually
occurred in what is
now the town of
Danvers, then a parish
of Salem Town, known
as Salem Village.
ARTHUR MILLER
&
THE CRUCIBLE
THE AUTHOR: ARTHUR MILLER
• born on October 17, 1915 in the Harlem district of
New York City.
• His father was a successful clothing manufacturer;
his mother was a school teacher.
• The stock market crash of 1929 caused loss of
family wealth and family had to move to a small
home in Brooklyn.
THE AUTHOR: ARTHUR MILLER
• After graduating from high school in the worst part of the
Depression. Miller took any job he could find. He worked
as a longshoreman, warehouse clerk, truck driver, and as
a farm hand. These experiences helped provide insight
into the problems of American workers. He used these to
develop the main characters of his plays.
• Miller began writing plays in college, but it was not until
1947, at the age of 32, that he scored his first major critical
success with All My Sons, receiving the New York Drama
Critics Circle Award.
• Two years later he received the Pulitzer Prize for Death of a
Salesman.
THE AUTHOR: ARTHUR MILLER
• Miller married three times:
• 1940, he married his college sweetheart, Mary Slattery,
the Catholic daughter of an insurance salesman. The
couple had two children, Jane and Robert.
• 1956, he married actress Marilyn Monroe, but the
marriage only lasted five years.
• 1962, married photographer Inge Morath and had two
children, Rebecca, and Daniel.
THE AUTHOR: ARTHUR MILLER
• Miller spent his later years, writing and
campaigning for the freedom of dissident
(rebellious) writers.
• He died on February 10, 2005 of
congestive heart failure at the age of 89.
• Regarded as one of the finest American
playwrights of the 20th century.
WHAT PROVOKED MILLER TO WRITE
THE CRUCIBLE?
• Written in 1953 as an allegory for McCarthyism or the so
called (second) Red Scare. Miller felt many personal
convictions to McCarthyism as a result of a multitude of
events that happened in his life. Wanting to point out to
the world the amazing parallel between the unjust Salem
Witch Trials of 1692 and the (second) Red Scare from
1948 to 1956. Miller wrote The Crucible to make a
powerful statement about the dangers of hysteria and
the dehumanization that can result.
• The play is a fictional re-creation of the Salem witch
trials, their origins, and a psychological investigation of
the act of persecution.
THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST
• During McCarthyism, the United States was
terrified of Communism’s influence. Like the
witches, communists were seen ingrained
within every aspect of society. Miller was sent
to jail for withholding information from the
court, namely, the names of those assumed to
be communists. Many of Miller’s peers fearing
the wrath of the court provided names of
suspected communists in an attempt to save
themselves.
THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST
• In the 1950’s many famous people were
accused of being Communists and were
called to testify: Lucille Ball ("I Love Lucy"),
Ronald Reagan (though he became a
"friendly witness" and named names of
those he reportedly saw at Communist
meetings), Langston Hughes, Paul
Robeson, and of course, Arthur Miller.
THE MCCARTHY ERA'S ANTI-COMMUNIST TRIALS DESTROYED LIVES AND
FRIENDSHIPS. ARTHUR MILLER DESCRIBES THE PARANOIA THAT SWEPT
AMERICA - AND THE MOMENT HIS THEN WIFE, MARILYN MONROE,
BECAME A BARGAINING CHIP IN HIS OWN PROSECUTION.
• “It would probably never have occurred to me to
write a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692 had
I not seen some astonishing correspondences with
that calamity in the America of the late 40s and
early 50s. My basic need was to respond to a
phenomenon which, with only small exaggeration,
one could say paralyzed a whole generation and in
a short time dried up the habits of trust and toleration
in public discourse. I refer to the anti-communist
rage that threatened to reach hysterical proportions
and sometimes did. I suppose we rapidly passed
over anything like a discussion or debate, and into
something quite different, a hunt not just for
subversive people, but for ideas and even a suspect
language.”
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