Similarities Between The Crucible And Mccarthyism

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In the 1940s, America was hysterical over communism with McCarthyism everywhere. Author, Arthur Miller felt that the situation had many similarities to the Salem Witch Trials. In both the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism- fear, hysteria, and danger were common. Miller used his play, The Crucible, as an allegory for McCarthyism to tell one story with an even deeper meaning. Miller stated, “Paranoia breeds paranoia, but below paranoia there lies a bristling, unwelcome truth, so repugnant as to produce fantasies of persecution to conceal its existence.” McCarthyism and the Salem Witch trials relied on unfair evidence, public hysteria, and paranoia to influence and control people.
An important similarity between McCarthyism and the Salem Witch …show more content…

John McCarthy’s McCarthyism, was the consequences a person would face if they failed to admit to their accused offense. If the person didn’t confess to their accused offense they would face a severe punishment. In The Crucible, Parris says to Tituba, “You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!” Putnam adds, “This woman must be hanged! She must be taken and hanged!” “Tituba, terrified, falls to her knees No, no, don’t hang Tituba! I tell him I don’t desire to work for him, sir” (Miller 44). In this scenario Tituba was being accused of witchcraft, and because she wouldn’t admit to it, she was threatened with being whipped and hanged. Instead of facing punishment she accused other women of witchcraft so the spotlight would no longer be on her. The only way out of punishment for the women was to admit to witchcraft. In this time, these people believed that if a person admitted, they wanted to return back to God, but, at the same time, if they admitted they would adulterate their name forever. The same went for those facing accusations of being communists due to McCarthyism. If a person did not admit to a crime they would face jail time and even sometimes death. In a case with African American entertainer, Paul Robeson, he refused to admit anything to the court and pleaded his fifth amendment, but eventually he was forced to tell the court what they wanted to hear.

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