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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   



14. Becoming Visible

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
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Activities: Author Activities


Arthur Miller - Selected Archive Items

Back Back to Arthur Miller Activities

[3024] Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., Levittown House of Mrs. Dorothy Aiskelly, Residence at 44 Sparrow Lane (1958),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-G613-72794].
The postwar generation saw the development of so-called "Levittowns," homogeneous suburbs that were first conceptualized by William Levitt in response to the postwar housing crunch. These communities were typically middle-class and white. Jewish Americans flocked to the suburbs during this era. Philip Roth satirizes Jewish suburban life in Goodbye, Columbus, and Arthur Miller dramatizes the plight of the suburban Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.

[6240] Anonymous, Look Behind the Mask! Communism Is Death (n.d.),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-80757].
Propaganda poster depicting Stalin and a skull. U.S. anti-communism peaked during the 1950s Red Scare. Many political, union, and popular-culture figures were accused of being communists. Writers responded to the Red Scare with such works as Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

[6404] Joseph Glanvill, Frontispiece, Saducismus Triumphatus: Or Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions (1681),
courtesy of the Annenberg Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania.
Fear of witchcraft was widespread in Puritan New England, as evidenced by the Salem witch trials. Nathaniel Hawthorne dramatized this fear in such works as "Young Goodman Brown." In the twentieth century, Arthur Miller made a powerful connection between McCarthyism and America's history of the witch hunt in The Crucible.

[8567] Carla Mulford, Interview: "Becoming Visible" (2003),
courtesy of American Passages and Annenberg Media.
Professor Carla Mulford discusses the origins of the American Dream.

[8611] Wives of the Hollywood Ten, For Justice and Peace (1950),
courtesy of Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.
When members of the movie industry were questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, ten Hollywood producers, directors, and screenwriters refused to testify about their possible communist ties. They were briefly put in jail and then blacklisted from Hollywood studios. The "Committee for the Hollywood Ten" was formed to fight on their behalf.

[8612] Anonymous, Facts on the Blacklists in Radio and Television (1950),
courtesy of Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.
By 1950, the number of movie industry people blacklisted had grown to over two hundred. Blacklists were issued by "independent" sources like the Catholic Church and religious/moral citizen watchgroups. These lists usually devastated the careers of those targeted.




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