The Crucible: Witch Hunts In The Past And Present

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Witch Hunts in the Past and Present
The Crucible, although set in the Puritan era, has a theme that can be seen throughout time: fear causes people to turn into monsters. Throughout the years of our existence, the human race has been capable of horrific act of self destruction, and fear is often the motive. From the infamous witch trials, the McCarthy trials and today's anti Muslim agenda, these events have all occurred or is currently occurring because of fear induced hysteria. Arthur Miller’s depiction of The Crucible warns not only of the terrors of Salem but the pattern of hysteretic “witch hunts” that occurred while Miller was alive and that is happening again today. Salem during the Puritan era was both highly religious and highly
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American citizens were brought into court under suspicion for colluding with the communist party. If people gave the names of “co conspirators” then they could walk free; if not they were convicted. These trials ignored all constitutional rights of the accused and with only circumstantial evidence, sent people to jail (“McCarthyism”). Like The Crucible, a play that this era bore, the justice system that the people trusted failed at every level. “In 1947, President Truman had ordered background checks of every civilian in service to the government. When Alger Hiss, a high-ranking State Department official was convicted on espionage charges, fear of communists intensified”(McCarthyism). This fear is what drove American to condone stripping jobs, opportunities, and constitutional rights of thousands of citizens. In the grip of paranoia, an entire nation was capable of turning on…show more content…
The Witches of Salem: Diabolical doings in a Puritan village. The New Yorker, 7 September 2015, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/09/07/the-witches-of-salem. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. https://www.cusd80.com/cms/lib6/AZ01001175/Centricity/Domain/4860/The%20Crucible_full%20text_adobe_format.pdf “McCarthyism.” US History, vol. 53a, The Independence Hall Association, http://www.ushistory.org/us/53a.asp. Krieg, Gregory. Trump's history of anti-Muslim rhetoric hits dangerous new low. CNN Politics,
Turner Broadcasting Systems, 30 November 2017,
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