Welcome back to Calendar Girls! It’s a monthly blog event created by Flavia and Melaine now hosted by Katie at Never not ,Reading and Adrienne at Darque Dreamer Reads This event was designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers. Calendar Girls was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. Just like the song all of us participating reveals their pick that fits this month’s theme. September’s Theme: Best book with Witches.
Since this theme was announced, I’ve been trying to come up with a book that I’ve read with witches in it. Sadly, the only book with real witches in it was Harry Potter as much as I love Harry Potter selecting this series for another “best of” category felt like a copout of sorts. Therefore my choice for this month’s category is a touch unconventional.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller. I’m sure most of us read this (or were assigned to read this) in high school or have seen the pretty good movie starring Winona Rider, but I’ll give you a quick recap in case it’s been a while. This is a play set in 1692 in Salem Massachuttes Bay Colony and loosely based on the events of the horrific tragedy that was the Salem Witch Trials. If you are unfamiliar, a spark notes version of what happened is: a bunch of bored young teenage girls (twelve and thirteen-year-olds) started to accuse their neighbors of witchcraft, and it got, to put it lightly, out of hand. Nineteen people were hung and one was crushed to death with giant stones. Many more still were jailed for years before they were released. There were no real witches. Also, no one was burned at the stake, that was Europe.
Miller took the political events of the time this play was written and wove them into a play about a real-life witch hunt. The events Miller was highlighting were the McCarthy communist hearings where people were being accused and prosecuted with little evidence, much like the people of Salem. There were “witch-hunts” in the ’50s just like there were all over the world in the 1600s. History repeating itself. The play becoming a warning as to what could happen if we don’t take a step back and look at what’s happening.
This play still remains an important part of American literature and a look back at two parts of this countries history that shows what happens if we put too much weight behind what one person says. Mass hysteria can get people killed, and it’s important to remember that. This book may not be about actual witches, but its message about what happens when people are afraid of something they don’t understand is spooky in its own right.
I look forward to seeing what everyone else choice this month and finding new books with actual witches in them to add to my TBR pile!
Until Next time Internet,