A World of Fear and Greed: Witch Hunts After Salem and McCarthy

Objective: In times of instability and uncertainty in the world, certain groups – due to religion, gender, or age – become systematic victims of persecution and oppression. Each of the articles you will read today is about the practice of “witch” hunting in today’s world. As you read, you will research these modern-day practices and relate them to two important themes in the The Crucible: fear and greed. Questions you will explore in depth: How do fear and greed motivate modern-day witch hunts? How do they motivate the witch hunt of The Crucible? What are the differences and similarities between the fears and desires of each? For example, how does Anne Putnam’s fear of child mortality compare with the fear of crop failure in Africa?

Directions: Read four articles, and take notes on each. NOTE: You should read two articles from one set - I, II, or III - this will be your focus set. Your notes should contain the following eight pieces of information: 1. title of article, 2. author of article, 3. date of article, 4. name of periodical, 5. main point (thesis) of article, 6. intended audience of article, 7. all the causes for persecution mentioned in the article (for example, fear of disease, poverty, desire for profit or land), and 8. one fact from the article you found interesting. Then, carefully re-read the set of articles (I, II, or III) you chose to focus on, and write one paragraph (at least ¾ of a page) comparing that modern-day witch hunt to the witch hunt of The Crucible. Pay particular attention to the role of fear and greed in both.

Links to Articles:

                I.                  The Persecution of Muslims in America 

Read an editorial on the Homeland Security Hearings on the American Muslim community:


And an article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/07/islam-terror-hearings-mccarthy-witchhunt


Read a column comparing Salem’s witchhunt to recent persecution of Muslims here:


And here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/30/opinion/tarin-bachmann-muslims/index.html


                II.             The Persecution of Women and Children in Africa

Read an article on children accused of witchcraft in the Democratic Republic of Congo:


And in Nigeria:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/09/tracymcveigh.theobserver


Read about the persecution of women in Ghana:  


And in Kenya: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8119201.stm

Read an editorial about witch hunts in Africa: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/jul/29/religion-witchcraft-sorcery-africa-unicef


                III.           The Persecution of Women in India

Read an article about women accused of witchcraft in India here:


And here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2012/04/witchcraft-assam


And here:  http://cornellsun.com/node/41106

And here: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-18/kolkata/34554696_1_villagers-sabhas-west-midnapore-s-daspur

And here: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/09/women-shut-down-deadly-witch-hunts-in-india-yes-that-still-happens/