Mass hysteria was present in both The Crucible and McCarthyism. Mass hysteria is when people went crazy because people were accused of being communists and or witches. Mass hysteria was however started by specific people in both scenarios. In Mccarthyism Joseph Mccarthy a United States Senator and in The Crucible Abigail Williams who was accused of having an affair with John Proctor her employer were the specific ones who accused people of being communists and witches.Even though the Salem witch trials happened in the late 1690s and McCarthyism in the 1950s they paralleled each other. McCarthyism and The Crucible caused a feeling of hysteria and paranoia in all the people that were accused and others that were not accused.
The Salem Witch Trials can be compared to many historical events around the world. The Holocaust is one of the most compared events to the Salem Witch Trials. These events are brought together by the facts that both of them were tragic and people died horrifically. Neither of these events were handled in a way that was beneficial for their economies. The Holocaust is a modern day “Witch Hunt” that relates to the Salem Witch Trials due to instinctual prejudice and mass hysteria, but differs in religion and the scale of the executions.
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. Both scenarios spiraled out of control due to people who became paranoid that most of the government were made up of communists and it would destroy the United States of America. Also, with
The witch trials in Salem in the year 1692 was a scowling time in American history. The New York Post explains about The Crucible play that “... at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witchhunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil.” In The Crucible, John Proctor and his wife are hit with many situations which burdens their relationship. While this is going on, many people were being accused as witches for little incidents which they thought would add up to witchcraft. During this time period, the grudges and personal rivalries between people makes these witch trials immoral and unethical.
Almost every kid in school has read a passage or a story, and never really understood the purpose of learning the topic in school. The teachers expect us to do the work, and hopefully understand it, but we never truly understand why we learned such a topic or event. The Crucible is a prime example on what students read in school, or why we’re obligated to read the book. The crucible and McCarthyism have many similarities that many people over look, and don’t realize, and connects more than we perceive.
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). Arthur Miller was a playwright and a political activist speaking up addressing societal issues. One of his most well-known works being The Crucible, addressed McCarthyism and its absurd purpose. Miller, creator of The Crucible was blacklisted, and accused of being a communist along with many other entertainers (“Arthur Miller”). Through all this ignorance and delusional fear, Arthur Miller was inspired to explore the similarities and parallels of the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.
In times of fear and hysteria in the U.S. it is mass chaos and it only gets worse and worse. During the time of both the witch-hunt eras, whether for communist or actual witches, they prove to have many similarities between them. Both of these times were full of confusion and lying which lead to the temporary downfall of the authority at that time. Joseph McCarthy proved to be a factor in this time and add on to the chaos that was America. Arthur Miller wrote about these times in a book called The Crucible, based on the witch trial era.
Fear, it causes people to be blinded by the truth. People can’t tell right from wrong. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible to show how no one could see what was right. During the 1950’s communism was spreading throughout Europe like a wildfire, then it slowly made its way over to the U.S. This was known as The Red Scare. People were terrified of communism spreading to the United States, so when accusations started floating around everyone would believe them. McCarthy accused people of communist behavior, although many were falsely accused, no one knew better than to think they were guilty because of how scared they were of communism spreading. This resembles how certain characters were accused of witchcraft in The Crucible. The Red Scare caused nationwide hysteria just how the Salem Witch Trials caused hysteria to the people of Salem.
In the 1940 's and 1950 's, an anti-Communist movement swept the United States of America. Fueled by the anti-Communist actions of Congress, particularly a Senator from Wisconsin by the name of Joseph McCarthy, the movement escalated and many people lost their jobs as a result of various blacklists. Congressional hearings, both in front of HUAC and McCarthy Senate committee were a study in organized persecution. The actions taken during the "Red Scare" were eventually given the general name McCarthyism. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
In Stacey Schiff’s, List of 5 Possible Causes of the Salem Witch Trials and Shah Faiza’s, THE WITCHES OF SALEM; Diabolical doings in a Puritan village, discuss in their articles what has been debated by so many historians for years, the causes of the Salem Witch trials. Schiff and the Faiza, purpose is to argue the possible religious, scientific, communal, and sociological reasons on why the trials occurred. All while making word by word in the writer’s testimony as if they were there through emotion and just stating simply the facts and theories. They adopt the hectic tone in order to convey to the readers the significance, tragedy, logic, loss, and possible madness behind these life changing events,
When people are placed under an intense feeling of fear, they begin to commit actions they never thought they were capable over. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a young group of girls commit witchcraft which eventually leads to the arrest of over 100 women. This is similar to a time in the 1950s when Joseph McCarthy accuses government officials of communism and that ultimately leads to hundreds of citizens losing their jobs. The Crucible reveals the similarities between The Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and McCarthyism of the 1950s because it demonstrates how a society can be tremendously impacted by the feeling the fear.
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.
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.
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.
Mr.Miller wrote the tragedy of the crucible. The setting of the crucible is in Massachusetts bay during 1692/93. The tragedy is a dramatized and partially fictionalized play. The tragedy of the crucible begins with a rumor that started with nine girls. The play focuses on the inconsistencies of the salem witch trials and the behavior that can result from dark desires and agendas. Miller bases the historical accounts of the salem witch trials. He focuses on several girls and a slave dancing in the woods. They were conjuring or attempting to conjure spirits from the dead.