Last evening, I attended my sister's school prodution of The Crucible. Arthur Miller wrote this play as a protest against McCarthyism. Naming names and making lists is dangerous to any society. Under the fifth amendment which guarantees due process to the accused several things are required to convict someone, "the presumption of innocence until proved guilty, trial by jury, representation by counsel, the right to present witnesses and evidence to establish one's innocence, and the right to cross-examine one's accusers..." While this was the standard set forth by wise Founding Fathers, it has not been always followed in these United States. The internment of Japanese Americans during WW11 is one very sad and ugly example. Franklin Roosevelt is credited with saying, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself." How often is that true?
There are still so many societies in our world that live under the politics of fear. Earlier this year I read James Michener's book, The Bridge At Andau, and I still think about it everyday. It is a powerful book that shows how a society of fear comes to be. It is quite ironic how the power structure of communism (the theme of McCarthy's Red Scare) is based on this same naming of names that is so terrifying in The Crucible. In a way, McCarthy was participating in exactly the thing he feared.
I have often felt that the High School curriculum is very harsh and I worry that we turn children off to literature because they are asked to read Lord of the Flies, The Crucible, Crime and Punishment & Heart of Darkness all rather dark and depressing. However, last night as I watched these High School kids perform The Crucible, I thought it would truly be a great thing if these kids learned the lessons of The Crucible now.
For me those lessons are these... Due process is a sacred gift. It is inconvenient and painful when you are the one who is wronged because it would be nice, believe me, to point a finger at someone and have them sent away. Liberty costs, and it is a price worth paying. Secondly, we need to be involved and informed about those that we elect and appoint to rule over us. We need wise judges in the land. Lastly, and most importantly, we need to have charity for all.
Dear Jackie, you and your class were absolutely fabulous! Many, many congratulations! Your big sister is very, very proud!
Friday, April 13, 2007
This little bag is not my colors at all, which is a huge disappointment because I would buy if it were. April Cornell's new site is up and running and she has lovely offerings in muted earth tones for spring/summer. I love the shape of this "Poetry Bag" ... very Granny Chic... Anyway, everyone who loves sage and salmon should hop right over there, you find lots of things you'll like.