In 1953, Arthur Miller wrote the famous play The Crucible, in response to a fear of Communism The “Red Scare”, was led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was afraid of communist takeover. The Crucible a play in which Arthur Miller changes some events of the Salem witch trials of 1692 to the problems that were happening in his own society. In this essay we’ll see the ties between The Crucible, McCarthyism , The witch trials and Puritans.
In 1692, a fear of witchcraft led to the accusation of over 200 townspeople. Of those 200, 20 hanged. Throughout the Crucible, it explains the ridiculous trials the people went through to try to prove their innocence. This is parallel to the Red Scare because people went to great lengths to prove their innocence of McCarthyism. In the Crucible, there is multiple occasions where the events that happen are parallel to McCarthyism because the Crucible is an allegory to McCarthyism.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is based on the true events of the Salem witch trials. Set in the 17th century The Crucible told the story of a town that ensued a hunt for witches, caused by the accusations of Salem 's young girls and their ring leader Abigail Williams. Arthur Miller wrote this play to symbolize 1950’s McCarthyism. Most readers are unfamiliar with McCarthyism. 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.
Hysteria, paranoia, and delusion was what drove the Salem Witch trials in 1692. Many people were executed by decision of the court because it believed in absurd false allegations. Justice in the court was perverted by fear and delusion (Johnson 9). In the 1940s and 1950s, many people in the United States were living in fear of communism; similar to those who feared “witches” in Salem. In the 1953, Arthur Miller came out with a play: The Crucible based on the Salem Witch Trials tackling McCarthyism; accusing others of being communists trying to overthrow democracy in the United States (9-10).
Does The Crucible play connect to McCarthyism based on history repeating itself? It is widely known that Arthur Miller's characters in The Crucible are based on the era of McCarthyism where Senator McCarthy accuses innocent Americans of being communists. Through indirect and direct characterization, Reverend Hale in The Crucible begins to emerge as a pacifist for Salem when Judge Danforth's judgements spiral out of proportion. As Danforth protects his reputation and abuses power, Hale tries to make peace and have a voice of reason in the madness of Salem. Similarly, Senator McCarthy rises to power, protects his reputation, and makes Americans believe he is the only voice that can help fearful citizens in the nation.
Although, many people that were condemned weren’t actually apart of the Communist Party, (under McCarthyism around 1950-1954) they got blacklisted or lost their jobs. This social injustice is also portrayed in The Crucible as its characters face the Salem Witch Trials. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as his own reaction to the injustice of McCarthyism. Miller’s purpose was to show how people accused each other with false denunciations because of their fear, jealousy and solely hatred of one another under McCarthyism.
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible is one of these social commentaries. Many critics and even Miller himself has stated his play was an allegory for the McCarthy’s red hunt. He feared the red scare, and such writing a play directly on the subject would’ve been dangerous. Miller wrote an article on why he wrote The Crucible, and he references the thought process in which people were undergoing.
The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky. Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. In the article “Are You Now or Were You Ever”, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials were similar and he does this through his choice of diction, figurative language, and rhetorical questions.
In Arthur Miller 's play The Crucible, false accusations and fear are used to imprison and kill many people accused of being witches. In this way, The Crucible stands as an allegory for McCarthy 's communist hunt, during which many people were also killed and imprisoned due to accusations of communism. By comparing McCarthyism to the Salem Witch Trials, Miller is able to communicate that people should not conform to societal trends because these trends may be misleading and cause innocent people to get hurt. Many characters in The Crucible serve as allegories to McCarthy 's communist hunt, specifically Abigail Williams, Giles Corey, and Betty Parris.
The times back then were terrible. The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953 about The Salem Witch Trials of 1692.McCarthyism was the “witch hunt” for the communist in 1953.the parallels between The Crucible and McCarthyism are naming names,lack of proof ,and reststance. The first reason they are parallel is because of naming names. Hollywood director Elia Kazan went in front of the HUAC twice. The first time he did not confess and names.
“The Crucible” was written by Arthur Miller in the 1950’s to show McCarthyism with the use of the Salem Witch Trials as an allegory. Miller used an allegory of the Witch Trials to show another meaning to McCarthyism’s impact. McCarthyism was during the 1950’s that started with Joseph McCarthy that spreads the ideas of mass hysteria and fear of communism. Cite: McCarthyism, witch trials, communism and Joseph McCarthy)
Between 1950 and 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy investigated people suspected of being associated with communism. In the writing 'The Crucible,' Miller's purpose was to point out the similarities between the Salem witch hunts and
Arthur Miller constructs his play upon the famous Salem witch trails. Miller's Crucible was written in the early 1950s. Miller wrote his drama during the brief reign of the American senator Joseph McCarthy whose bitter criticized anti- communism sparkled the need for the United States to be a dramatic anti- communist society during the early tense years of the cold war. By orders from McCarthy himself, committees of the Congress commenced highly controversial investigations against communists in the U.S similar to the alleged Salem witches situation. Convict communists were ordered to confess their crime and name others to avoid the retribution.
In the play, The Crucible, Salem, Massachusetts, along with the United States during McCarthyism, is engulfed with paranoia. Although both situations include different causes, their effects are strikingly similar. For instance, throughout The Crucible, Abigail Williams is being shown repeatedly accusing innocent people of witchcraft. Her actions begin sending the small town into a panic as they throw people into jail and hang them in an effort to try and cleanse the town from any aspect of evil. Similarly, throughout 1950-1954, Joseph McCarthy falsely accused people within the United States Government of being a member of the Communist party.
Movies in today's culture, especially horror movies, has the hidden message of McCarthyism. The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller from 1953, and the movie, The Witch, which was made 2016, both have similar connections to each other. In the article, “Why I Wrote the Crucible”, Miller makes many valid points and references to Red Scare era. Miller The Crucible was inspired by Red Scare and McCarthyism, but it was included the Salem Witch Trials as a main component due to similarities. The Witch is a remake of the Salem Witch Trials in a different point of view.