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.
“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller and The Red Scare share many characteristics. “The Crucible” describes the Salem Witch Trials. These trials were during a period of time where men and women were very rancorous so others feared to speak up because they would be accused of witchcraft and killed. Similar to Arthur Miller’s book, the Red Scare was a period of time in the late 40’s and 50’s in which United States citizens were intensely paranoid of an opposing threat of communism in Eastern Europe and Asia and ultimately communists infiltrating the United States. What the Red Scare and “The Crucible” have in common is that accusations of witchcraft or communism were false, people were blind to the truth, and the accusers weren’t very tactful and
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
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.
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. Arthur Miller, was born in Harlem, New York City, NY on October 17, 1915 to parents of Polish and Jewish descent. His father was successful coat manufacture.
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.
McCarthyism resulted in Americans turning against each other because of politicians greed for power, paranoia, and the fear of communist infiltration. Clearly, Senator McCarthy’s greed for political power led to American citizens’ unrest. In Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, John Proctor dealt with the corruption of power in his town when Abigail Williams and many other girls accused those, who were innocent, of witchcraft. Similarly, americans were being blacklisted by McCarthy because they believed these people may have
“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)
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.
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.
Shawn Jande Ms. Clancy American Literature B3 15 November 2015 The Crucible Analytical Essay Imagine, being accused of a crime you didn’t commit by your neighbors and friends out of jealousy, and desire. This is what many people in the town of Salem had to go through during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. People's motives such as: gaining and maintaining power, and aspirations for what other people had caused them to make irrational, and atrocious decisions. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, desire and power drive characters to create chaos in the community.
Miller’s purpose of The Crucible was to represent and mirror the social injustice under McCarthyism as people falsely accused each other because their fear, jealousy and solely hatred of one another. Although, around 1950-1954 the “innocent until proven guilty” clause existed, most trials and accusations were led by “guilty until proven innocent.” Despite Miller’s efforts to criticise people’s actions as
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 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 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.