Mass hysteria was present in both The Crucible and McCarthyism. Mass hysteria is when people went crazy because people were accused of being communists and or witches. Mass hysteria was however started by specific people in both scenarios. In Mccarthyism Joseph Mccarthy a United States Senator and in The Crucible Abigail Williams who was accused of having an affair with John Proctor her employer were the specific ones who accused people of being communists and witches.Even though the Salem witch trials happened in the late 1690s and McCarthyism in the 1950s they paralleled each other. McCarthyism and The Crucible caused a feeling of hysteria and paranoia in all the people that were accused and others that were not accused.
In the play, The Crucible, Salem, Massachusetts, along with the United States during McCarthyism, is engulfed with paranoia. Although both situations include different causes, their effects are strikingly similar. For instance, throughout The Crucible, Abigail Williams is being shown repeatedly accusing innocent people of witchcraft. Her actions begin sending the small town into a panic as they throw people into jail and hang them in an effort to try and cleanse the town from any aspect of evil. Similarly, throughout 1950-1954, Joseph McCarthy falsely accused people within the United States Government of being a member of the Communist party. Both scenarios spiraled out of control due to people who became paranoid that most of the government were made up of communists and it would destroy the United States of America. Also, with
Often times there’s a point in a person’s life where one wonders if they’re crossing the red line when it comes to reaching their goals. When the lines a drawn and crossed, people suffer, much like the 20 sad souls who were executed in the Salem witch trials, or the 205 falsely accused state department officials. False accusations that ended and ruined people’s lives have been going on for ages like the examples before. Either for self-preservation or to cheat their way up, these things have always been embedded in human nature. Just like in Arthur Miller’s, The crucible, Abigail William’s false accusations propelled the community into its own demise, which also happened when McCarthy doomed 205 members of the state department with his accusations.
With anti-communism being the dominant political issue during the Cold War, hysteria and paranoia spread throughout the minds of Americans. The “Enemies From Within Speech” delivered at Wheeling, West Virginia in 1950 by Senator Joseph McCarthy focused on worsening that national fear. Senator McCarthy used ethos, metaphor, and hyperbole to create the notion of disloyalty within the federal government.
The Cold War was a war of ideologies and propaganda. Hence, the smallest display of failure or mistrust on one side meant a great advantage for the other. This is exactly what McCarthy did in the 1950's. He created and developed a period of negativity in his time as a senator. By doing so, he gave the Soviets an advantage, and he weakened America's image internationally.
The witch trials in Salem in the year 1692 was a scowling time in American history. The New York Post explains about The Crucible play that “... at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witchhunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil.” In The Crucible, John Proctor and his wife are hit with many situations which burdens their relationship. While this is going on, many people were being accused as witches for little incidents which they thought would add up to witchcraft. During this time period, the grudges and personal rivalries between people makes these witch trials immoral and unethical.
During the time that Arthur Miller created the Crucible, America was dealing with a very similar problem compared to the Salem witch trails. This problem was called McCarthyism, it was believed that a few hundred communists had entered the country, and they posed a threat to American safety. The accusations of communists in the country caused mass paranoia among the entire United States. Arthur Miller was one of them accused of being a communist and was trialed for it, which most likely lead to the creation of his play the Crucible. After the end of both events - the Salem witch hunt and McCarthyism - the effects afterward left devastating results and lingered for many more years to come. During the 1950’s McCarthyism was a widespread problem reflected in the Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, in hope to warn and prevent mass hysteria developing in the United States.
Difference a point or way in which people or things are not the same. The difference between a story and history are sometimes confused, especially when it comes to a story like “The Crucible”. While there are similarities between the characters, events, and the settings in The Salem Witch trials, and “The Crucible” the differences are evident.
Throughout History, women have long struggled and fought for the same equality, justice, and rights as males in society. Historians have two opposing views of what life was like in Puritan society. One side argues that Puritan society was a golden age for women as they worked alongside their husbands, had an important role in the household. However, opposing historians argue that Puritan women were inferior to men in the society for five main reasons. Women were inferior because they were supposed to be silent company, they only received half the inheritance of their brothers, they were meant to have and take care of the children, they received harsher punishment for their wrongs, and they had to follow strict rules. The most significant way
Fear, it causes people to be blinded by the truth. People can’t tell right from wrong. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible to show how no one could see what was right. During the 1950’s communism was spreading throughout Europe like a wildfire, then it slowly made its way over to the U.S. This was known as The Red Scare. People were terrified of communism spreading to the United States, so when accusations started floating around everyone would believe them. McCarthy accused people of communist behavior, although many were falsely accused, no one knew better than to think they were guilty because of how scared they were of communism spreading. This resembles how certain characters were accused of witchcraft in The Crucible. The Red Scare caused nationwide hysteria just how the Salem Witch Trials caused hysteria to the people of Salem.
Fear very often leads to unexpected and unwanted results. Decisions made in fear are often more dangerous than the thing being feared. In the United States during the Cold War fear had been running rampant. McCarthy, leader of the CIA at the time had used fear to arrest and punish innocent people. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as way to use a past story to warn the United States about the future. Fear is universal throughout human conflict and it’s seen in history.
With all of the accusations going around, people were forgetting that everyone can have their own opinion. Edward R Murrow, a television host of See It Now bashed McCarthy by saying “’We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty’” (Roberts, 2). Murrow was saying that just because a person disagrees with what the president or a government official says, does not mean they are a communist. The United States has freedom of speech, and citizens can say whatever they want about the government. However, during the time of McCarthyism, people suddenly believed if a person went against the government thoughts, they were a communist. Similarly, this is like a time in The Crucible when a mass amount of women were arrested for witchcraft. After Mary Warren comes home from watching the witchcraft trials, John Proctors asks if it is true if only fourteen women arrested. Instead Mary Warren replies, “No, sir. There be thirty-nine now” (Miller, Act II). Fourteen women in the first place was a lot, and then suddenly, it raised to thirty-nine. So many women were arrested for witchcraft, but it is not possible that so many people were doing something that was illegal. Everyone was so terrified of witchcraft, they starting accusing people at
“I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller, The Crucible 143). The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a story that illustrates the Salem witch trials that occurred in 1692. These witch trials consisted of people who were falsely accused of witchcraft and twenty of them were executed. Not too long ago in 1954, the McCarthy trials began and took effect on the people. Many people during this time were accused of being communists and as a result lost their jobs and many opportunities in life. Such events flowered from only one simple event.
The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky. Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. In the article “Are You Now or Were You Ever”, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials were similar and he does this through his choice of diction, figurative language, and rhetorical questions.
The church and the nature of Protestant culture present in both places played a vital role in fuelling accusations and fear. Salem village in the 1690s was a strictly Puritan, in which the monotony of theocracy could not be escaped. Central to the Puritan beliefs was the uncertainty of salvation, with even the most godly men still vulnerable to temptation by the devil. Vital to Puritan theology was the view that Satan was an instrument God used to punish the sinful, and that troubles during one’s lifetime were a manifestation of God’s judgement against sin. Witches were one means by which the devil might penetrate society, with a witch’s pact with the devil interpreted as the antithesis of Christian baptism. Life in Puritan Massachusetts was the eternal struggle against Satan, and when faced with the threat of the Devil’s agents working among them, they reacted with pious fear, with the trials acting as a means by which they demonstrated determination to stamp out the devil’s lies. Scottish Presbyterianism offered similarly a negative view of human nature and susceptibility to sin. Everything in life came from God or the devil and, as witchcraft came not from God, so it must be from Satan. Presbyterian preaching was zealous in its “glamorising,” of witchcraft, believed by Burton to have fuelled the Scottish enthusiasm for witch hunts. The hunts in the 1690s came at a time of moral panic, with ‘the identification and abolition of witchcraft… part of the new pattern of moral endeavour.’ As in Puritanism, it was believed that personal or national disasters were a manifestation of God’s wrath upon the guilty, however there was no shame in falling victim to witch attacks. The belief that one could appease God and prove ones faith by acts of righteousness likely only fuelled the desire to punish witches who