There are two ways that stick out to me that The Crucible is an allegory for McCarthyism. In Salem the people accused were “tried and the court had the power to hang them” (52) if they didn’t confess and accuse others of being witches. This same thing happened during McCarthyism, those accused were assumed guilty, put on trial, and expected to accuse other people of being Communist. Since the girls were “all marvelous pretenders” (106) and lied about actually seeing spirits they ruined lives of many people. This same thing happened with McCarthyism, since McCarthy claimed he had a list of over 200 names of Communists in political positions he ruined lives as well.
The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692 in Massachusetts. The trials began when young girls around Salem started acting up. They would start to scream and bark like a dog, fall to the floor, and would be spotted dancing in the woods. The accused witches had to be looked over carefully, the examiners would look for physical evidence, they would look for spectral evidence, have them recite the Lord's Prayer, or they would wait for them to confess. (www.ushistory.org/us/3g.asp) .
In the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, tells a series of events leading to a mass hanging of what were thought to be witches in Salem in 1692. Corrupted by fear, people, especially women, were spitting out names to keep themselves safe. This hysteria lasted up to 9 months. Based on true events, this is much like the communist scare of the 1950’s from Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy. This was called McCarthyism.
4/1/2017 Testimony against Accused Witch Bridget Bishop, 1692 Bridgett Bishop, a married, middle-aged woman, was the first colonist to be tried in the Salem Witch trials, found guilty and hung for practicing witchcraft in June 1692. Bishop was widowed twice and on her third marriage during the witch trials. According to Rebecca Beatrice Brooks, in her article Bridget Bishop: Witch or Easy Target, states that Bishop’s second husband was Thomas Oliver, who had children from a previous marriage. Bishop was no stranger to the courts.
In this quote, Proctor is saying that the accusations of people that are practicing witchcraft are false. He is saying this because the woman being accused has a good reputation. Hale argued back that even the Devil was good before he fell from heaven, and that he had a good reputation with God. Your nature could change with your actions.
Intolerance: unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own. Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs. The Crucible by Arthur Miller shows the intolerance of people back then and relates to the intolerance of people now, and what they do to Christians. Persecution is at an all time high, between being accused of witchcraft to getting shot for your beliefs; or maybe even getting killed for another person’s intolerance. Christian persecution is still happening today and it’s at the highest point that it’s ever been.
Throughout history, many “witch hunts” have occured. Two of the most famous were the Salem trials and the McCarthy communist hunt. While McCarthy is a figurative take on a witch hunt, Salem is a real witch hunt. Arthur Miller discusses both of these trials his book, The Crucible. During the time of the communist hunt, Arthur Miller wrote his book about the Salem witch trials.
The growth of hysteria in America exemplifies people’s tendency to abuse newly-gained power and is supported by Americans’ intolerance of unpopular ideologies. During times of hysteria, one often show his or her true natures. Therefore, human nature can be most easily observed in such times. During times of hysteria, people exploited fear among the public to gain more power, which they abused.
The Crucible uses John Proctor as the tragic hero in the play to show the struggles of a tormented individual living in a paranoid society. The four qualities that are essential to be a tragic hero is that a character must be noble, the hero is pre-eminently great but not perfect, hero’s flaw would lead to his downfall and that the hero’s misfortune is not fully deserved. Proctor represents these traits because he is a noble farmer that is respected throughout the community and his flaws would lead to his downfall, even though he is wrongfully convicted for a crime he did not commit. His pride is also a factor that he cannot control leading to various conflicts. Proctor’s self inflicted wounds were evident at the beginning of the play when
Imagine losing everything: your job, family, and good name all because of someone accusing you of something that there is no sound evidence for. Now imagine people losing their lives for insubstantial reasons, and anyone who spoke out against these would lose everything themselves. Wouldn’t corruption reign from personal vengeance and create an aura of hysteria? Readers see this exact effect in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible as well as in the historical event of The Lavender Scare, in both of which people were wrongfully castigated for unjustifiable accusations. The Crucible and The Lavender Scare were both similar and different.
Though the Crucible is fiction, the allegorical character of John Proctor reflects the author, Arthur MIller in the following ways. The Crucible is a comparison to the real life “witch trials “ which we're going on in the real world. Arthur Miller used The Crucible as a way to protest the Red Scare to compare how very similar Salem’s witch trials were to this accusation of communism. The red scare was the inoperable fear of communism within the United States. The Salem trials and communism were times so fearful, when accused you were guilty no matter the verdict.
“We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” A quote from john Proctor in Act II stating how the accusations and hysteria of witchcraft has taken over the town. The accusations set on citizens from the girls have caused an uproar in the society and many citizens were either afraid of the devil or that the people themselves would have accusations set upon them. Suspicions of witchcraft were being used as evidence of whether or not the accused was hanged.
The Crucible There is no greater fall, than a fall off a pedestal. In the play, “The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller, the protagonist John Proctor endures many struggles and as a consequence had many mistakes. Unluckily for John he was placed on a pedestal, he was viewed in the town as a religious figure. Although, through his closeted flaws he fell from his grace, that downfall eventually led to his execution.
Amongst the lines of Arthur Miller’s compelling play, “The Crucible”, Miller introduced the significance of the power of persuasion when it is applied by the authorities and how much control they are capable of. Within the message, the playwright presents to the readers/viewers, there are symbolic connections to the real world, revealing human nature and the diverse forms of disposition. Within a distinct society lies the rich and the poor as well as the powerful and the powerless. Which type of person immediately has the advantage?