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McCarthyism: History in Literature? Come on, Mr. Johnson!

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McCarthyism: History in Literature? Come on, Mr. Johnson! Arthur Miller s Reasons for Writing The Crucible – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: McCarthyism: History in Literature? Come on, Mr. Johnson!


1
McCarthyism History in Literature? Come on, Mr.
Johnson!
  • Arthur Millers Reasons for Writing The Crucible

2
What is McCarthyism?
  • a movement leaders, such as Senator Joseph
    McCarthy, started in the late 1940s-1950s also
    known as The Second Red Scare

3
Huh?
  • During this time, Sen. McCarthy and others
    created a blacklist of those people believed to
    be Communists these people, including
    celebrities, often lost money, their jobs, and
    their freedoms because of these false accusations

4
so why people be hatin on Communists?
  • Basically, we had the same philosophy as Tina
    Feys Sarah Palin character in the SNL sketch I
    can see Russia from my house! Seriously,
    though, we really hated Russia. We were in the
    middle of the Cold War, which was not a war in
    the traditional sense, but more of a competition
    between the U.S. and what was then the U.S.S.R.
    from the 1940s until the early 1990s. (For the
    most part, it was an arms race, meaning the
    countries were trying to outdo each other in both
    production and quality of weapons.)

5
So what people did McCarthyism/The Second Red
Scare affect?
  • This movement affected anyone, but especially
    entertainers such as actors, screenwriters,
    singers, playwrights, musicians, and authors.
    Who was responsible? Joseph McCarthy and his
    House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

6
HUAC
  • The HUAC was a group formed specifically to
    investigate any cases of alleged Communism. This
    group investigated anyone who seemed unusual or
    outside of the norm, anyone who questioned
    society or who took risks. Another famous HUAC
    member was J. Edgar Hoover.

7
Mr. Johnson, were in English classseriously?!
  • Yes, seriously. This dude (Arthur Miller)
  • wrote one of the
    most
  • influential plays
    in
  • American
    literature,
  • The Crucible,
    which
  • was written about
    The
  • Salem Witch
    Trials, but it
  • was actually a
    thinly
  • disguised play
    about McCarthyism.
  • You all have the
    privilege (yes,
  • privilege) of
    reading this play in my
  • class this year.

8
Why Miller Cared So Much
  • First, Arthur Miller was claiming his own
    political statement about the times.
  • Even more importantly, Miller was retaliating
    against the government for their actions against
    him. Yes, McCarthy and his gang had even accused
    lil man Miller of being a COMMUNIST (gasp)!

9
Miller Made His Mark
  • See, our man Artie had a bone to pick with the
    guys who accused him of Communism simply because
    of his play Death of a Salesman. Critics accused
    him of being too morbid and referred to the
    character Willy as simply a nut. In fact,
    Columbia studios released another play and movie,
    Life of a Salesman, which portrayed the play as
    it should be.

10
  • The result was The Crucible, the play later made
    into several different movie versions, which
    became a huge success.

11
Celebrities Accused of McCarthyism
  • Lucille Ball, actress

12
  • Richard N. Wright, author

13
  • Charlie Chaplin, comedian and entertainer

14
  • Lena Horne, singer/actress

15
  • Pete Seeger, folk singer

16
  • Langston Hughes, author

17
  • Aaron Copland, composer

18
  • and many more.
  • The Hollywood Ten

19
Works Cited
  • AmSt.2010. University of Colorado at Boulder.
    2002. U of C at B. 24 September 2008.
    lthttp//www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/mcca
    rthy.htmgt
  • Buhle, Paul, and David Wagner. Hide in Plain
    Sight The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and
    Television, 1950-2002. New York Palgrave
    Macmillan, 2003.
  • Miller, Arthur. Are You Now or Were You Ever?
  • The Guardian/The Observer. 13 July 2000. 24
    September 2008. lthttp//www.writing.upenn.edu/af
    ilreis/50s/miller-mccarthyism.htmlgt
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