THE CRUCIBLE--Act IV

Examine the TONE of the speaker's words.


PROCTOR: I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man. She is silent. My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing's spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before.
unworthy........contrite.........painfully honest

ELIZABETH, upon a heaving sob that always threatens: John, it come to naught that I should forgive you, if you'll not forgive yourself. Now he turns away a little, in great agony. It is not my soul, John. It is yours. He stands, as though in physical pain, slowly rising to his feet with a great immortal longing to find his answer. It is difficult to say, and she is on the verge of tears. Only be sure of this, for I know it now: Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it. He turns his doubting, searching gaze upon her. I have read my heart this three month, John. Pause. I have sins of my own to count. It needs a cold wife to prompt lechery.

Elizabeth's TONE? honest.......poignant.......reflective

How important are Arthur Miller's stage directions?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
(To Danforth)

PROCTOR: I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! It is enough! (angry......passionate)
DANFORTH: I do not wish to--

PROCTOR: I have three children--how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends? (pleading yet resolute)
DANFORTH: You have not sold your friends--

PROCTOR: Beguile me not! I blacken all of them when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence! (angry and impassioned)
..................
DANFORTH: ...Do you mean to deny this confession when you are free? (haughty but puzzled)

PROCTOR: I mean to deny nothing!

DANFORTH: Then explain to me, Mr. Proctor, why you will not let--

PROCTOR, with a cry of his whole soul: Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!
(defiant.....soulful......desperately triumphant)

NOTES FOR "THE CRUCIBLE" FINAL QUIZ

Arthur Miller creates a "sense" of 17th century English in the dialog chiefly through using syntax that mimics 17th century structure and using were when modern English would use was.

KNOW characteristics of
 
Rev. Parris--insecure, self-promoting, arrogant, vindictive
Abigail Williams--dissembling, wanton, clever
Thomas Putnam--manipulative, wealthy, calculating, greedy
Duputy Governor Danforth--condescending, unrepentant


 


THE CRUCIBLE -- Turning Point (Act III)

PROCTOR, laughs insanely, then: A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud--God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!

to quail = to cower, to shrink away in fear

John Proctor accuses Deputy Governor Danforth of being too proud of his reputation to admit he is wrong; Proctor says Danforth is too fearful (quailing) to admit he has been deceived by Abigail and the young girls therefore he will not reverse his sentences for innocent people to hang. Danforth's "quailing" will mean eternal condemnation, says Proctor, who sees himself as having been equally guilty for not speaking out against Abigail much sooner. In Proctor's case, he quailed because he wished to preserve his good name and feared the charge of lechery.
TEST QUESTION: The above words uttered by John Proctor provide a telling moment when hidden sin is revealed like impurities in the heat of refinement, thus befitting the play's title.

CRUCIBLE HOMEWORK and FEAR!

HOMEWORK for October 7-10.
Finish reading the play, "The Crucible." 
You can find it online by googling "The Crucible" full text or you can use the link below.  See me about checking out a textbook if you would prefer to read a hard copy. We watched the movie for Act One.  Go to Act Two and begin reading. There are four acts.

http://asbamericanlit.edublogs.org/files/2011/10/21078735-The-Crucible-Arthur-Miller-2hmdzot.pdf


You will have a QUIZ over "The Crucible"  Friday, 10/10.
This will conclude our study of Miller's masterpiece.
In class, we will be reading and discussing Rationalism works.


Homework for October 3 weekend.

Students will contemplate the power of FEAR in a community and society.

JOURNAL WEBQUEST:
1) Why did Arthur Miller write "The Crucible?"
     Your answer must fill half a journal page.

2) What was McCarthyism about?
     Your answer should fill the other half of the page.

3)  Find an artricle (newspaper or magazine, hard copy or online) on either ISIS (Islamic State) or the Ebola virus. Print your article and place it neatly in your journal.  Be wise. Don't print needless pages of ads.  Copy and paste the text only onto a Word document and print the article.  Tape the article neatly into your journal. Be sure you have the name of the publication (Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post, Salon, Wall St. Journal, New York Times, Washington Post). Be sure you include the DATE.

RHETORIC--Unforgettable, Inspiring Language!



What is RHETORIC? Convincing language that carries lasting power. Good rhetoric elicits an emotional response from the reader or listener. Rhetoric is words used effectively-- in a powerful way to challenge, to refute, to reason and argue, to persuade—and most of all—to inspire.

The Power of  Great Rhetoric

Consider the rhetorical strategies, the use of parallelism, repetition, antithesis, rich imagery with emotional appeal, in the examples below.

Parallelism
We have a place, all of us, in a long story—a story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.”
--2001 Inaugural Address of George W. Bush

The above sentence is a historical summary, but it is made eloquent by repetition of "a story" and meaningful by juxtaposing opposing ideas (antithesis), careful parallel phrasing, and the use of words with noble connotations.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
--1961 Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

The above sentence which opens with a dramatic antithesis (well or ill) is not just a list—but a pledge, a promise. The use of simple verbs such as pay, bear, meet, support, oppose gives each short phrase great punch. But the direct objects that follow these action verbs show tremendous courage and determination: price, burden, hardship, friend, foe. The final phrase sings out the strong commitment to liberty and democracy during the Cold War struggle. Parallel structure keeps all these ideas lined up and clear--resulting in a very powerful, unforgettable statement.

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
-- Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, 1865

Abraham Lincoln provides a magnificent example of antithesis--opposing ideas placed side by side--in his opening phrase.  Malice is the opposite of charity, or love. None and all are direct opposites. These striking juxtapositions make clear Lincoln's point:  Americans must unite in love and blame no one for this war. Lincoln is also a master of parallel structure, of metaphors, and rich imagery. Each phrase is a carefully chiseled syntactical masterpiece. He portrays the nation as a wounded soldier in need of healing and consolation for loss. The words "widow" and "orphan" convey the deep tragedies being felt by both sides in the Civil War.

Repetition and Syntax“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
--1933 Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Simplicity. Syntax is the key to this phrase’s power. The positive statement— is underscored by the repetition of “fear itself.” This phrase became famous not just because of syntactical simplicity, but because it embodies the spirit of confidence and the candid truth that fear can traumatize people so they do not think clearly and take wise actions. (Remember that in 1933, the depths of the Depression, one quarter of Americans were in danger of starvation.)

Good rhetoric is about saying something in the strongest way possible. Consider this phrase: My fellow Americans, don’t ask what is my country going to do to help me? You should ask, instead, what can I do to help my country?

The above words are clumsy. They are not compelling or noble or even memorable.  But, look at the following famous line:

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”John F. Kennedy, 1961

This famous line uses a reversed syntax, sometimes called antimetabole, a clever grammatical structure in which the first clause or phrase is followed by a clause or phrase that is reversed, often repeating the same words. Kennedy’s words became unforgettable, not just because they carried great meaning, but because the idea was presented with powerful syntax.

FREQUENT ERROR

"Please," said the frustrated teacher, "place commas and periods INSIDE the quotation marks."

THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller, 1953


Read THE CRUCIBLE online.

http://asbamericanlit.edublogs.org/files/2011/10/21078735-The-Crucible-Arthur-Miller-2hmdzot.pdf


CONSIDERED ONE of America's greatest playwrights and a master of realism, Arthur Miller's bold blending of history and imagination ignites The Crucible. Miller uses the historical account of the Salem witch hunt of 1692 to show parallels to the "Red hunt" led by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s.
Charging that hundreds of card-carrying members of the Communist party had infiltrated our government, McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee summoned people from all walks of life, especially screenwriters, producers, actors and politicians--asking the question: "Are you now or were you ever a Communist?" Careers were destroyed, reputations ruined, jobs lost--all based on innuendo and little or no evidence. Those summoned were coerced to inform on neighbors and friends or be sent to jail. "The Crucible was an act of desperation," Miller later wrote. "By the end of 1950 when I began to think of writing about the hunt for Reds in America, I was motivated in some great part by the paralysis that had set in among many...despite their discomfort with the inquisitors' violations of civil rights..."

In Salem, Massachusetts, 1692, 19 innocent men and women and two dogs were hanged for witchcraft. An elderly man was pressed to death under heavy rocks for refusing to stand trial. Four others died in jail while awaiting trial. "The Salem tragedy, which is about to begin in these pages developed from a paradox," Miller writes in the opening of the play (832). SMART COOKIE CLUE: WHAT IS THE PARADOX? The repressive, rigid unity of the Puritan theocracy helped the early settlers survive hardships and rough conditions; but, by the third generation, there was a deep longing for individual freedom.

In this crucible of human angst, Miller reveals how old grudges, deceitful jealousies, and smoldering greed leads to betrayal, lies and unbridled hysteria. Any applications for our society today?

JONATHAN EDWARDS--Puritan Minister 1703--1758


Read this famous sermon (p. 79-81 in your textbook).

"...your righteousness would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell than a spider's web would have to stop a fallen rock...."



Edwards was influenced by English philosopher John Locke who believed everything we know comes from experience. Understanding and feeling, Locke contended, were two very different forms of knowledge. Edwards thought the difference between the two kinds of knowledge was like the difference between reading the word fire, and actually being burned.



Yes, Jonathan Edwards was a fire-and-brimstone preacher! He is considered by many to be the last of the ultra-strict old Puritan ministers. Surprisingly, he is said to have delivered this sermon in a quiet, monotone voice, but the imagery of his words so upset his listeners that several times he had to ask them to stop shrieking and swooning--and be quiet.