Fear Of Mccarthyism In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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People will do anything to stay alive. The things people will do to survive exist at their clearest during the 1950s with McCarthyism on the rise. McCarthyism, otherwise known as the Red Scare, began when senator Joseph McCarthy accused anyone who was a left-wing “loyalist” risk of being a communist. The threat of losing everything in life; if the case escalated that included taking a llast breath. Arthur Miller sums this up beautifully in a quote describing his experience during McCarthyism,
“The more I read into the Salem panic, the more it touched off corresponding images of common experiences in the fifties: the old friend of a blacklisted person crossing the street to avoid being seen talking to him; the overnight conversions of former
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Accusations during this time equate to someone putting pause on life as everyone else continued on with theirs. The great fear of this accusation lead to acts of hysteria. Those accused would do anything to get out of it, even if it meant pinning the blame on someone else whom they know to be innocent. These events inspire Arthur Miller to write “The Crucible” to share his experiences after the government would ban him from entering the United…show more content…
Such as this conversation in “The Crucible” shows. Proctor asks Mary how many people the jail has arrested since the first day of accusations only two weeks before.“‘Mary She halts. Is it true? There be fourteen women arrested?’ ‘No sir. There be thirty-nine people now-’” (Miller 1125). This quote, taken from “The Crucible” just after the trials begin, this shows how quickly things crumble under the influence of fear and paranoia and soon turn to hysteria, blaming everyone who they felt fit their suspicions. Mass hysterics follow the paranoia, quickly everyone launches into a frenzy, confess witchcraft and blame someone else, their only way out. But sometimes, mass hysteria looks different. In this quote Burbano, a victim and survivor of the Pulse shooting, shows how quickly the hysteria took over. “In the confusion of the dark, packed club, people dropped to the ground and hid in bathrooms. Many started to run for the exits, grabbing friends and strangers along the way. “I don’t remember screaming. I don’t even remember breathing,” Burbano told ABC News “I just remember dragging my best friend down”” (Zambelich). This statement from an interview with one of the survivors of the Orlando Pulse shooting perfectly highlights how adrenaline affects the body and how during spats of mass hysteria the body tries its hardest just to survive. This becomes clear throughout history in places such as England during the plague.

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