In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Miller uses one of his main characters, Abigail, to cause fear among the townspeople due to witchcraft. Abigail takes advantage of everyone's fear, and gets the townspeople to turn against each other or to take her side, however in the end the results are disastrous as 19 people are left dead and many remain in prison due to the accusations. Arthur Miller does this to demonstrate to his audience the dangers of using fear to motivate an audience to confront a threat. On the other hand, Franklin D. Roosevelt uses the Pearl Harbor incident to cause fear among his audience. Roosevelt uses his audience's fear of being attacked unexpectedly, like the Pearl Harbor incident, in hope to persuade them to support the war and volunteer to go to war, and the result left over 100,000 military personnel dead at the end of the war.
Sam Roberts in the article A Decade of Fear argues that McCarthyism turned Americans against each other. Roberts supports his claim by illustrating fear, describing betrayal, and comparing it to other United States internal conflicts. The author’s purpose is to point out a vulnerable period of American history in order to demonstrate that Americans felt prey to McCarthy’s negative propaganda. The author writes in a cynical tone for an educated audience. I strongly agree with Robert’s claim.
The crucible is defined as a severe trial of test, which not only happened in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, but also in Miller's life. Arthur Miller wanted The Crucible to symbolize McCarthyism. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s McCarthyism was prominent in America and is known as the paranoid hunt for infiltrators who were communist sympathizers. Writers and entertainers were mainly targeted because they have a lot of influence in society and were used an example. Targeting writers and entertainers showed the people that the government wouldn't sympathize with anyone who supported communism and shook fear into the town.
The threat of Communism and the Red Scare put fear of group mentality into many people during the late 1940-50s. The authors of 1984 and The Crucible used their respective works to comment on the social injustice going on in their own lives, which connects to injustice the exists throughout time anywhere in the world. Miller wrote his play, set in 1692, about Puritans and the Salem witch trials because he believed that, similar to his trial for HUAC in the 1950s, the trials in Salem were caused by false accusations and mass hysteria led by powerful individuals. In 1984, Orwell creates a world in the near future that shows group mentality and its threat to conform society with the government.
The emotions of people can be blinding and problematic. The emotions a person feels can cause people to do unimaginable things to themselves and other people. Throughout the book, people's emotions bring out the worst of the people of Salem. The people of Salem begin accusing people of witchcraft for their own personal vendettas and gain. In the book “ The Crucible” by Arthur Miller the people demonstrate, When reason fails, emotions control and results in the destruction of what is morally right or good.
He uses this fear to make the idea that the Nazi’s loved America fathomable. Additionally, Whitman uses a proof known as expression of disgust. He does this when he says, “Law made second class citizens of Blacks, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Asians and Native. Most especially deprived these non- white Americans of any meaningful right to vote (Whitman para. 3)”
The Red Scare during the mid-twentieth century, sparked by Joseph McCarthy’s accusations, is an event in which mass fear and paranoia of communism hypnotized Americans. Convictions made by McCarthy often placed people on a blacklist, destroying their careers. Because of these certain events, it influences playwright Arthur Miller to write The Crucible. The play demonstrates this hysteria through the Salem witch trials. People who were thought to be a witch have a choice of blackening their reputation by confessing, or hanging under the false evidence of witchcraft.
In order to better understand the correlation between The Crucible and to Joseph McCarthy’s claims, we must better understand the accusations of McCarthy. Joseph McCarthy took on an aggressive campaign towards communism, he made several accusations that government workers were secretly communist. Although he never proved these accusations he provoked hysteria and paranoia which led to negative impact on politics and diplomacy. Soon after, McCarthyism became a term to describe accusing without evidence.
Therefore, we know that Arthur Miller used the accusations and punishments in the play, to symbolize the Red Scare. During the Red Scare, there were many accusations, people, punishments, and trials. Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, wrote this play as an allegory to demonstrate what happened back in the 1950’s with the spread of Communism. Arthur Miller wanted to talk about the Red Scare and used the Salem Witch Trials to explain what happened through an allegory.
This particular event in time was an issue for the whole world and was known as The Cold War. Countries created nuclear weapons at an alarming rate, storing their power as a threat to other nations (Zazen Life, 2016). Luckily no one had the motivation to utilise any of their bombs, however, this whole period of time was extremely wasteful, undermined the economy and contributed to its eventual
Sam Robert’s article, “A Decade of Fear” explains how McCarthyism turned Americans against each other by spreading the fear of Communism. Senator McCarthy informed the citizens of America about Communist spies deep within our government on February 10, 1950. He states “ I have here in hand list of 205-a list of names that were made known to the secretary of state as being a member of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the state Department.” This quote proves that McCarthy did infact say to the public that there were Communist spies in the United States. It spread fear into the citizens because they were afraid that the country will turn Communist because of the Russian spies in the government.
The Trials of 1692 were a perfect way for Miller to express his thoughts about the hunt for communists in the U.S. as Americans let fear control them causing fellow neighbors to suspect each other and ignore one another 's civil rights and as stated by History.com “ the Red Scare – is often cited as an example of how unfounded fears can compromise civil liberties”(History.com “Red Scare”) . The attitude of the 50 's also helped to play a vital part in how Miller came to choose to write about the trials as Americans branded communists were as stated by History.com “hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs. ”(History.com “Red Scare”), Miller lived in a world that was teetering on the edge of fear.
Sam Robert’s article, “A Decade of Fear” explains how McCarthyism turned Americans against each other after World War 2. In the first place he lied about communists being in the U.S. senate. As stated in Sam Robert’s article, “News of McCarthy’s accusations against the state dept. of president Harry Truman sent shock waves across the nation.” McCarty’s statements made him look like a gallant anticommunist and gave him power. As a matter of fact, he was considered more of a witch hunter.
One spy was caught sharing information with the USSR and went to jail. People in education were also being monitored because they had the ability to poison the children’s minds by teaching them that Communism is a good thing. The US had legitimate reasons to fear people in the field of Education, Science, and Government.
The Cold War had disconnected and slandered Soviets in American culture. The political witch-chase which occurred under the lead of Senator McCarthy imprisoned many suspected Communist foes for simply practicing their First Amendment rights to the right to speak freely and opportunity of the press. Americans got to fear doing anything that may make them the objectives of Federal examination by associations like the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Daily paper editors and book writers became perplexed of distributed articles condemning of the administration in apprehension that they may be blamed for being Communist sympathizers and put in prison. A well known political toon from the 1950s shows Senator McCarthy stifling the Torch of Liberty.