Occasion's Effect: The Salem Witch Trials And Mccarthyism

692 Words3 Pages
Occasion’s Effect

The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism are very similar even though they took place such a long time from each other. If someone was accused of witchcraft in 1692 they had to confess and lose all social standing or be executed, in the 1950’s if a person was accused of being a communist they would be fired and put on trial, if they would not confess they were blacklisted until they admitted to their “crime”. Arthur Miller used the Salem Witch trials to protest McCarthyism in a somewhat discreet way that proved to be a timeless comfort to the citizens experiencing oppression from their government (“Why I Wrote The Crucible”, 911). As the 1950’s continued, and the McCarthy trials along with it, Miller noticed that the trials had the same overall process of the Salem Trials so he began writing “The Crucible” hoping that his play would help people realize that McCarthyism may not be as justified as it seems (Miller Interview part 1.1). In a discussion between McCarthy and Joseph Welch-a special council for the army-about Fred Fisher-a lawyer and suspected communist who had been recommended by Welch to join McCarthy’s Committee-the topic of a “needlessly inflicted” scar on Fisher caused by McCarthy could make a person wonder how many more scars were given in this publicity stunt (“McCarthy-Welch
…show more content…
Even with the play’s puritan disguise Miller was still sent on trial for suspicion of communism. If “The Crucible” had been written at another time it probably would not have gained much interest and there would not have been something to bring people to the realization that McCarthy’s accusations and methods were really somewhat uncalled for. Both the Salem Trials and McCarthyism were cause by the spread of something that created fear and paranoia and allowed chaos and revenge to take
Open Document