When teaching Arthur MIller’s The Crucible I would keep the John Adams conversation regarding power in my back pocket. As Miller craftily shows how quickly power can go awry when it is in the wrong hands. I could use John Adam’s perspective at any point in the play to discuss the power that comes with authority, questioning if said authoritative figures should be trusted with power. Students could explore this concept, developing an understanding of the role power plays in mass hysteria. Students could go one step further, applying this conversation to examples of modern day hysteria.
Level: Secondary English/language arts
Subject Area: American literature
Author: Sarah Mill