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Myths and heroes : why can we talk about witches in the 20th century America ?

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Par   •  1 Décembre 2019  •  Synthèse  •  693 Mots (3 Pages)  •  622 Vues

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I will present the notion "Myths and Heroes". A myth can be defined as a story about gods or heroes, it can be a popular belief or a tradition or a false notion. A hero can be a mythological figure, a person who is admired for his or her achievments a superhero or maybe a role model or an icon.

Thank's to the documents we studied in class, it will be interesting to study why can we talk about witches in the 20th century America ?

I will present four documents to try to answer the problem.

The first document is an extract from the novel « The poursuit of Happiness » written by Douglas Kennedy. This text presents the story of Sara, his brother Eric and his husband Jack.The story is happening in the 1950's. In the first part of the text, Sara is revolted by Jack's attitude. She can't understand how her lover could give her brother's name to the HUAC. Jack tries to justify himself. He says that he didn't have the choice. He says if he had refused to give Eric's name, somebody else would have done it. But according to Sara, you always have a choice. For her, Jack is a stoolpigeon.

In the second part , we can learn that Jack was a member of an anti-fascist committee when he was 18. The FBI guys want Jack to give the names of other communists he knows. So Jack feels obliged to denounce people, to name names. He can lose his job or even be codemned to go to jail. So Jack obeys the FBI and gives the name of Eric.

In the third part, Jack tries to justify helmself saying that the FBI guys were ruthless and that he didn't have a choice. He says that there was no way out. He was obliged to name names. Sara feels contempt for Jack. She is revolved by what he did. She thinks he is a coward.

The second document is a play untitled « The Crucible » by Arthur Miller. He was an American playwricht. In 1956, he was called before the HUAC to testify, in other words to name names. He was found guilty and sentenced to 30 days in prison. He was also blacklisted and had his passport taken.

Miller wrote the play entitled « The Crucible ». This play is about what happened in Salem in 1692. He wanted to denounce what was happening in the USA in the 50's. In fact, according to A.Miller, the Salem witch hunt (XVII th century) and the XX th century Red Scare, were following the same procedure induced by fear. So in « The Crucible », Miller denounces the witch hunt of the 50's.

The third document is a text about the numerous hardships the people from Hollywood had to endure. They were accused of being communist or because they were just suspected of having communist sympathies. There were many consequences for them and sometimes they commited suicide. To avoid that, some of them agreed to cooperate with the comittee (HUAC) by giving names. Through this text, we clearly understand that these people underwent severe hardships both in their professional and private lives.

The last document is a text untitled « The Witches of Salem ». In 1692, the small puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts was taken over by madness, superstition and paranoia. A group of girls felt sick. The whole


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