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Pat Swenson, CSUN - The Crucible
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Discussion Guide



John Proctor, Abigail Williams, Reverend John Hale, Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Parris, Rebecca Nurse, Francis Nurse, Judge Danforth, Giles Corey, Thomas Putnam, Ann Putnam, Ruth Putnam, Tituba, Mary Warren, Betty Parris, Martha Corey, Ezekiel Cheever, Judge Hathorne, Herrick, Mercy Lewis


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.


Puritanism & Theocracy in New England

Intolerance & Disregard for Individuality

Sex & Sexual Repression

Hysteria & Excessive Zeal

Reputation through Association

Empowerment Motif

The Legal System: Witch Trails, Accusations & Confessions

Class & Generational Conflicts

Setting: Time, Place, Historical Influences

1692 - Salem, Massachusetts

The Symbolic Witch Trail: McCarthyism (paranoia about communism in 1950s America)

The House Un-American Activities Committee

Aspects of the Theatrical Stage Production

Use of Dramatic Questions – dramatic hooks, devices to hold the attention of the audience. (Examples include: Will he come? Who did it? Will he or she succeed?)

Subdivisions: Scene & Act Construction – effect on plot pace, tension.

Staging: The Effect of a One Stage Set

The visual/audio production as stated in the stage direction (staging, lighting, backdrop, sound effects, music, etc.)