Comparing Communism In The Crucible And Inherit The Wind

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In the early 1950s, the fear of Communism washed over America. Whether it be the end of Harry S. Truman’s eight years in the Oval Office or the beginning of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s two-terms, the political pendulum in the United States violently swung back towards conservatism. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, and Inherit the Wind, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, fear is the driving force of prejudice. Respected political philosopher Thomas Paine made the claim, “It is from a strange mixture of tyranny and cowardice that exclusions have been set up and continued. The boldness to do wrong at first, changes afterwards into cowardly craft, and at last into fear.” Miller’s work, The Crucible, was influenced by contemporary debates. It…show more content…
Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee used the Scopes Trial to discuss the contemporary topic of Communism. In the small town of Hillsboro, Christian Fundamentalism is enforced. Reverend Brown and Brady, extreme creationists, scare orthodox views into the townspeople. If the Bible is contradicted publicly at the trial Brady and Reverend Brown will lose their power over the people. Brady says, “My friends of Hillsboro, you know why I have come here. I have not come merely to prosecute a lawbreaker, an arrogant youth who has spoken out against the Revealed Word,” (I. i. 18). Afraid of losing his power over the citizens of Hillsboro, he attacks Bert for imposing the idea that evolution is more important than the word of the Bible. This trial is not about the breaking the law, it is about Brady wanting to maintain control over his community. Brady’s mindset is if individual exhibits intellectual freedom, it must be stopped before religion is discredited. The people of Hillsboro see this trial as a threat to remain conservative with their beliefs. Bert, just like Proctor and Miller, chooses to take a stand for what he believes is the right thing to do. Rachel does not believe that the trial was the right thing for Bert to do. When testifying under oath about Bert’s fondness of Darwinism she blurts, “He didn’t say that! He was just joking,” (II. ii. 70). Fearful of the consequences Bert will…show more content…
Modern day Americans have not learned how much prejudice can dictate their lives. Religious prejudice is currently at an all time high. ISIS, the Islamist militant group, grows in number every day, and so does the American fear of Islam. Donald Trump, the current top Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election, has a major influence over the viewpoints of Americans. Just like how Joseph McCarthy inspired an unfounded fear of Communism, Donald Trump pressures Americans to fear and discriminate against all Muslims. Donald Trump, Joseph McCarthy, the town of Salem, and the town of Hillsboro all have their Christian religion in common. Thomas Paine expresses his opinion on Christianity when he says, “There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral
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