The Allegory Of The Crucible By Arthur Miller

Powerful Essays
Famous American playwright Arthur Miller wrote a play entitled The Crucible in 1953, which reinserted the story of the Salem witch trials back into the American consciousness. At first glance, the Salem witch trials may seem a strange subject for a play, but delving deeper into the political climate of the 1950s, it does not seem strange at all. The play served as an allegory for the Red Scare happening at the time, specifically the ideology of McCarthyism that was used to place Americans on trial for communist affiliations, many times without any hard evidence. It is an era of history that seems foggy to most people who were not personally affected by it. Many remember the “duck and cover” cartoon shown in classrooms to prepare for nuclear…show more content…
No one ever saw his list, and he never named any of the supposed offenders, but he nevertheless gained national headlines and further stoked the Red Scare flames (Fitzgerald 12-13). With the Federal-Loyalty Security Program in place, government workers already worried they would come under scrutiny, but the situation only worsened when McCarthy arrived on the scene. Aided by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and other “Red-Hunters”, he cracked down on the State Department and its Foreign Service operations so frequently and relentlessly that the agency had trouble just finding people who wanted to work there. Most preferred to take a job outside of government rather than have their entire personal life investigated by the FBI (Hillstrom 64-65). McCarthy and the Red Scare’s influence reached beyond the government, even finding its way to books. Librarians would pull classics such as Robin Hood, The Grapes of Wrath, and Civil Disobedience off the shelves, fearing they would be considered too leftist (Wall). Nebraska state legislators passed a law that required schools to inspect textbooks for “foreign ideas”, and also required them to devote hours of school time for the performance of patriotic songs. Everyone in America felt the Red Scare hanging above them, as McCarthy scholar Ellen Schrecker articulates, saying, “The taint of communism was like a contagious disease. Almost every survivor of the McCarthy years-Communist and political innocent alike-has a story of someone crossing the street to avoid eye contact” (Hillstrom 69-70). McCarthy’s political fall from grace came when he went after the U.S. Army, who went on the offensive against him, charging him with corruption. They proved
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