Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Crucible

It's the third time I've taught The Crucible in three years. I like the story, especially when the students pick up on the parallels between Salem in 1692 and today's society. We've talked about how a "witch hunt" is not about witches at all, but rather the idea of seeking a scapegoat for the frustrations of a community. We're just on Act Two now, which is when John and Elizabeth Proctor's rocky relationship is tested by the accusation and arrest of Elizabeth on charges of witchcraft. The students are shouting out the unfairness of the situation, claiming it's "stupid" to think such things; I love it when they get that involved, but also question why they have trouble digging  below the surface. Yes, it's "stupid," but why did they behave that way? What's motivating them? We'll work on that this week...

Sparknotes Summary of The Crucible (video)

In other news, I like this picture that I took at the Border's Bookstore at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers.  John took me to Kennedy Coffee in Bentonville, where I had my very first Velvet Elvis - a white chocolate caramel latte. Needless to say, it was amazing. AH-mazing.

I also like this picture of John, staring at the precarious display of "religion" books at the Border's we visited. We found two self-help books, two books on female entrepreneurship, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and John's favorite, Fast Food Nation. Now, I understand that American culture worships food, but I assumed it was on a metaphorical level....


  1. A Velvet WHAT?! (Jen makes a note--some of us get a little more zealous about our 'religions' than others.) As for "The Crucible," do your students know the historical context of when it was written? Okay, I'm sure you told them. But one of my favorite college moments ever was when I was in an upper-level history course discussing the McCarthy trials and the professor asked if anyone knew what brought things to a halt. One student asked "Didn't he accuse another senator's wife of being a Communist?" and the teacher had to concede that no, that was the Salem witch trials, but close enough.

  2. I'm trying to work on the historical context, but right now we're focused on characterization. It's hard for them to realize that these characters are based on real people. Like, this kinda actually happened. I think they're so accustomed to reading fiction that they don't grasp the reality of the story.


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