It's late, but I just read this, and it freaked me out. I mean, in addition to working in a bookstore, I also teach English. I assign stories and books (and comics) that I find interesting, that I can use to explain various concepts...
And, while I assume that most students won't like some of the things I assign, I never thought I might get set on fire.
But beyond that, this hits kind of close to home. Now, before I explain what I mean, a little caveat: my friends know this about me, but it's not something I share a lot. Frankly, it makes me look a little strange. Then again, I was a weird kid.
That being said, The Crucible holds a very special place for me. When I was in tenth grade, there was a two month block where every day after school I would come home, read the last scene of the play while listening to Cyndi Lauper sing "True Colors," and bawl--just sob from someplace deep down.
I don't know that I can explain it, but somewhere in the confluence of a man trying to hold onto some final shred of personal dignity in the face of a system so hellbent on crushing every last thing he holds dear--somewhere between that and the incredibly soulful, desperate sounds of Lauper's voice? Right there is where I found something larger than myself. That's how I figured out that there are ideas larger than me worth holding out for. That knowledge kicked my ass, and it still does today.
I guess when I think about it like that? That's something worth teaching, the magic of literature. And as for the people who write books, who talk about books, who think that books have meaning? If that makes us witches, then so be it.
(credit where credit is due, dept.: I found that cover of The Crucible on this cool blog.)
Update: fixed broken link.