Contemporary Connections

This is where you will find the links to the various pages from our "Contemporary Connections" handout.

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  1. Contemporary Diabolism. In his author commentary, Miller discusses the "inhuman overlay" that members of contemporary society give to forces of oppositions they wish to discredit. (See "Crucible", p. 34). Think of modern-day devils people react to with irrational fear. Draw a cartoon that satirizes this phenomenon. Your cartoon should expose flaws in thinking on the subject and the motivations behind the person/people/forces that "created" the monster in the first place.
  2. Witches of Today. Find an article that documents a witch hunt of today. This could be a literal or a figurative one. Include a short response with your personal reactions and/or parallels to The Crucible. A variation of this option could include research on the Wiccan religion.
  3. Scavenger Hunt. History is in our midst. Find as many Puritan references that you can. These could be the names of streets or businesses, recipes, sayings, or evidence of attitudes/traditions inspired by Puritan settlers. (Remember, Thanksgiving is coming up.) You may "hunt" across the whole nation (but this could be overwhelming) or focus your efforts locally. Your presentation format could be as simple as a list with short explanations of items or could even include pictures/ads.
  4. Turkey and Yams—Yum! The history of the creation of the Thanksgiving holiday is actually quite interesting. Research the birth of the holiday. Why was it created and why do we still observe it? How do the traditions of that holiday veer from historical events?
  5. Puritans Exposed! The "real" Puritans were certainly not as two-dimensional as we portray them today. We run the risk of equating these people in reality with their pure-form ideals: theory and practice often differ. For example. prospective marriage partners were often given the opportunity to "try out" the marriage bed, with the addition of a board placed between them. Find our some of these little-known details that our elementary history lessons or common perceptions do not represent. For added drama, you could present your findings in the format of a front page of a National Inquirer-style magazine, but document your sources.
  6. Crucible, the Object. A crucible is "a container made of a substance that can resist great heat for the melting and fusing of metals." The term is also used metaphorically, as Miller did, to describe "a severe test or trial designed to bring about change or reveal true character." Research the craft of metal-working or jewelry-making. What do actual crucibles look like? What combinations of metals create what products? Demonstrate with your visual product how the title of the play fits.