During The Big Red Scare, America was over-reacting to an impartially lucid fear and being unable to subjugate the foreign enemy; Americans unraveled. In order to back up their falsified claims that communists were everywhere, any person who was indifferent to the persecution of said fear was branded as a likely suspect of communism. The fear of radicals increased and led to the fear of being thought radical. However, this national panic was somewhat justified by the minute threat of socialist and labor union strikes as well as several public outbreaks of violence. These issues took many forms including that of a perverted persecution of anything that the dominant white Protestants deemed as un-American.
In both the play The Crucible and the film Good Night and Good Luck, the characters reflect the people during the Red Scare of the 1950’s and the Salem witch hunts of the 1600’s. Even though in different time periods, both events caused controversy and chaos that made people very afraid of having a communist or witch reputation. Both Edward Murrow and John Proctor are similar in the manner that they both fight against the government’s power. For example, Proctor was against Judge Danforth because he was accused of association with the devil, just like Murrow was accused of communism by Senator McCarthy. Both were willing to stand up against hysteria even if it would ruin their reputation.
In order to better understand the correlation between The Crucible and to Joseph McCarthy’s claims, we must better understand the accusations of McCarthy. Joseph McCarthy took on an aggressive campaign towards communism, he made several accusations that government workers were secretly communist. Although he never proved these accusations he provoked hysteria and paranoia which led to negative impact on politics and diplomacy. Soon after, McCarthyism became a term to describe accusing without evidence. “In a narrow sense McCarthyism is the name given to the attitudes and practices of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-57) and his followers engrossed in investigating and purging purported security risks, especially those supposedly with ties present or former, actual or imagined, to Communist groups and governments during the late 1940s and early
The crucible is defined as a severe trial of test, which not only happened in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, but also in Miller's life. Arthur Miller wanted The Crucible to symbolize McCarthyism. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s McCarthyism was prominent in America and is known as the paranoid hunt for infiltrators who were communist sympathizers. Writers and entertainers were mainly targeted because they have a lot of influence in society and were used an example. Targeting writers and entertainers showed the people that the government wouldn't sympathize with anyone who supported communism and shook fear into the town.
Throughout the 1950’s, there was a threat of Communism taking over America called the Red Scare. Arthur Miller concluded to write an allegory for the Red Scare and make it into a play. The play exemplifies bits and pieces of the Red Scare. During this period of time, people were being accused of being communist. Everyone was blamed and no one was safe.
During The Red Scare, there was a huge breakout of mass hysteria due to fears about the threat of communism . The way the US responds to Communism threat is: “A number of government officials took strong, and sometimes unlawful, actions against labor leaders, foreigners, and others” (manythings.org 165) …… Similarly to The Crucible, the people who were put on trial and accused without proper evidence were innocent which caused mass hysteria as well. An example from Mary Warren tries to tell the lies that the girls are covering: “I cannot tell how, but I did. I - I heard the other girls screaming, and you, Your Honor, you seemed to believe them, and I - It were only sport in the beginning, sir, but then the whole world cried spirits, spirits, and I - I promise you, Mr. Danforth, I only thought I saw them but I did not.” (Miller
So for a brief explanation, McCarthyism was carried out under senator Joseph McCarthy during 1950-1954 against alleged communist in the US government and in other institutions. The Salem witch trials and McCarthyism have an uncanny relation to one another. In Salem people were afraid of not appearing christian enough, meanwhile during the 50’s Americans feared of being accused of communism. Also during the McCarthyism era and the witch trials innocent lives were ruined when people were forced to accuse others or be accused themselves. Though The Crucible is an allegory for McCarthyism, it focuses some of its attention on the question what is more important, your honor and reputation or your life?
I strongly agree with Robert’s claim. McCarthyism caused Americans to turn on each other due to fear, unawareness, and propaganda. Clearly due to McCarthyism, fear evoked betrayal among Americans in the 1950’s. One reason McCarthyism sparked paranoia is due to the rapid rate of communism spreading
In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Miller uses one of his main characters, Abigail, to cause fear among the townspeople due to witchcraft. Abigail takes advantage of everyone's fear, and gets the townspeople to turn against each other or to take her side, however in the end the results are disastrous as 19 people are left dead and many remain in prison due to the accusations. Arthur Miller does this to demonstrate to his audience the dangers of using fear to motivate an audience to confront a threat. On the other hand, Franklin D. Roosevelt uses the Pearl Harbor incident to cause fear among his audience. Roosevelt uses his audience's fear of being attacked unexpectedly, like the Pearl Harbor incident, in hope to persuade them to support the war and volunteer to go to war, and the result left over 100,000 military personnel dead at the end of the war.
“If your name was placed on one of these blacklists, you could lose your job and your life and reputation could be ruined.” This quote shows how those accused of communism had their lives taken and ruined. In both the times of The Witch Trials and of McCarthyism, people could be falsely accused. There is a very obvious example in The Crucible when after confessing John Proctor says to Danforth, "Why must it be written? Why must I say it?" (The Crucible).