Analyzing Intolerance and Fear through “The Crucible”
  1. The students can begin to read “The Crucible.”
  2. As the tension begins in Act I, remind the students of events that occurred during the Enemy Within game. After reading the scene where Abigail accuses Tituba, ask students to recall how it felt to have their eyes closed, and to know someone among them was choosing to eliminate one of members of their community. Discuss the ways in which the game, Enemy Within, is similar to what is happening in Salem in the opening scenes.
      • What is going on during the night while other citizens of Salem are sleeping?
      • Why is Tituba accused first? Why might she be an easy target?
      • Who instigated the accusations against whom?
      • How did the accused defend themselves?
      • Does Rev. Parris, and the others in his home, believe there is an enemy within?
      • Why does Rev. Parris feel targeted and how does he react?
  3. At the end of Act 1, the girls unanimously express accusations towards Goody Osborne, Goody Good, and other women in Salem. Encourage students to compare the ways they acted while playing the Enemy Within game when they collectively suspected and accused other students of being the evil enemy. Is the behavior caused simply by peer pressure or by something else? Examine how this behavior culminates in the final scenes of Act I.
  4. As Act II opens, the town of Salem is on the brink of collapse. A crucial narrative in the play explains the changes in the setting and atmosphere of Salem. Discuss with students what happened during the game as more of their peers were being killed, and they faced increasing suspicion of those around them.
      • How did they feel?
      • How did fearfulness of another impact the ability of players to live peacefully in the community?
      • In what way, might that fear be similar to the environment in Salem?
  5. Analyze the court scenes in Act II and III and discuss with students the characteristics of the first people accused and hanged in Salem.
      • What did they have in common?
      • Why were they targeted?
      • Thinking about playing the game Enemy Within and how personal biases influenced who you chose as the Enemy, do you think the behaviors in Salem are evident in the world today?
      • Where have you seen or experienced that behavior?