Absolutism In The Crucible

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Arthur Miller in his article, “Why I Wrote The Crucible,” identifies his motives for creating The Crucible as a political allegory for the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism by making correspondences between the two time periods. Both the Salem witch trials and the Second Red Scare share similar factors and origins which developed each society into a place of hysteria. Mob mentalities rooted in fear gave the people reason to throw away their reason and follow public norms to put suspects on trial. The wrongfully convicted were urged to name others guilty of the same crime and continued false accusations which further perpetuated the trials. The absolutism of the courts caused many of the innocent to be assumed guilty by simple association or some false…show more content…
Citizens in both Salem and the United States refused to stand up for themselves and their neighbors. The strict Puritan society, swayed by fear, fell into a madness as people began accusing each other. Accusations sharply increased and Reverend Hale, “signed seventy-two death warrants” (Miller, The Crucible 99) by the end of the trial. Noteworthy citizens like John Proctor allowed their pride and reputation take precedence over their public obligation to protect the innocent. Miller makes Proctor’s affair the central conflict of the play and uses this creative license to argue the need for social responsibility in both Salem and the United States. During the Second Red Scare, “Gradually, all the old political and moral reality had melted…Nobody but a fanatic, it seemed, could really say that he believed” (Miller, “Why I Wrote The Crucible”). Miller through his political allegory recognized the need for each society to examine the trials instead of blindly persisting into a false reality through the mob mentality furnishing the foundation for the
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