Therefore, we know that Arthur Miller used the accusations and punishments in the play, to symbolize the Red Scare. During the Red Scare, there were many accusations, people, punishments, and trials. Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, wrote this play as an allegory to demonstrate what happened back in the 1950’s with the spread of Communism. Arthur Miller wanted to talk about the Red Scare and used the Salem Witch Trials to explain what happened through an allegory.
As in D.H. Lawrence’s Women In Love, the author expresses his distaste for the existing prime minister through his character’s political views, just as Miller critiques the U.S. Government’s response to McCarthyism through his characters’ disapproval of the Salem Witch Trials. [Foster 111] The author compares the two cases through the role of his characters, as with Abigail and McCarthy, as well as through the governing conditions and the antagonistic concepts present in both situations. The Crucible in itself is representative of the Red Scare and criticizes government response to idealistic
The crucible is defined as a severe trial of test, which not only happened in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, but also in Miller's life. Arthur Miller wanted The Crucible to symbolize McCarthyism. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s McCarthyism was prominent in America and is known as the paranoid hunt for infiltrators who were communist sympathizers. Writers and entertainers were mainly targeted because they have a lot of influence in society and were used an example. Targeting writers and entertainers showed the people that the government wouldn't sympathize with anyone who supported communism and shook fear into the town.
Can the fear of people control the way certain things and events are looked at? In 1950 a nationwide historical campaign called McCarthyism took place. The campaign was against alleged communist in the U.S government and other institutions and accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence which was carried out by Joseph McCarthy. The primary targets were usually union activist, government employees, educators, and entertainment industry. Many people people lost their trust in others, causing a new outlook on life while relationships were destroyed. McCarthyism was caused by the fear of the people due to past events.
Using dramatic irony, Miller illustrates moral ambiguity in the play through Abigail William’s “holy” accusations of witchcraft against the innocent when she in fact “drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor” (Miller, The Crucible, pages 17 & 26). Conversely, a less direct approach is taken by Zinnemann to accentuate the townsfolk’s moral ambiguity by contrasting it with his film’s deep-focus black-and-white cinematography. In The Crucible, the audience is aware of Abigail’s false accusations in preventing herself from being exposed as a “whore” (97). However, her “sin” (30) is ironically interpreted by the judges as “infinite charity” (104) whereas “good souls” (40) like Rebecca Nurse are wrongfully “hanged” (113), which causes frustration for the audience about the injustice caused by moral ambiguity. In contrast to this ethical uncertainty, the juxtaposition of light and dark in High Noon starkly
Reverend Paris, the acting government in Salem, threatens Tituba, a slave from Barbados to “ confess” to witchcraft “or he will take her out and whip her to her death” (Miller 44). In the 1950s the House Committee on Un-American Activities blacklisted and threatened those accused of Communism to confess in the same way that the government of Salem threatened those accused of witchcraft. During both the 1692 Witch Trials and the 1950 McCarthy Trials the Government not only forced a confession, but imprisoned or killed those who refused to speak.
In Crucible, there is only one lead accuser of a crime of witchcraft is Abigail Williams and on the other side, the accuser was senator Joseph McCarthy. As The Crucible began with an actual witchery incident, The Red Scare began with accounts of communism within the American government. In McCarthy’s speech, which began the Communist hunt, states facts about government workers who held obvious communism traits, such as one man he mentioned, Gustave Duran, who
“If your name was placed on one of these blacklists, you could lose your job and your life and reputation could be ruined.” This quote shows how those accused of communism had their lives taken and ruined. In both the times of The Witch Trials and of McCarthyism, people could be falsely accused. There is a very obvious example in The Crucible when after confessing John Proctor says to Danforth, "Why must it be written? Why must I say it?"
The Salem witches and McCarthyism are two of the most shameful moments in modern U.S. history. A great play writer named Arthur Miller decided to make a statement about McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trials; he did this through an impactful play called the Crucible. McCarthyism, named after Joseph McCarthy, was a time where actors, writer, and poets had accusations of being Communist. If you were accused of being Communist, you were called before the court. If denied these accusations you were blacklisted.
According to Commager, among those who are really disloyal are “Those who for selfish and private purposes stir up national antagonisms” (Foner 240), i.e. those politicians and public figures who cause national panic and an animosity towards a certain group. At this point in history, those at the wrong end of the stick were communists, for the anticommunist crusade was in full swing during the Cold War. Ironically, in 1950 three years after “Who is Loyal to America?” was published, Senator Joseph McCarthy delivered his infamous speech claiming that the United States State Department was infested with communists, sparking an age of McCarthyism and bringing about the most ruthless times of the anticommunism crusade. Those who did not conform
The trials also had a major political aspect, as there was an attempt to incriminate Earl of Bothwell in the proceedings. In 1597, James published Daemonologie, his rebuttal of Reginald Scot’s skeptical work, The Discoveries of Witchcraft, which questioned the very existence of witches. Daemonologie was a pessimistic book, presenting the idea of a vast conspiracy of satanic witches threatening to undermine the
Sam Robert’s article, “A Decade of Fear” explains how McCarthyism turned Americans against each other after World War 2. In the first place he lied about communists being in the U.S. senate. As stated in Sam Robert’s article, “News of McCarthy’s accusations against the state dept. of president Harry Truman sent shock waves across the nation.” McCarty’s statements made him look like a gallant anticommunist and gave him power. As a matter of fact, he was considered more of a witch hunter.
The Trials of 1692 were a perfect way for Miller to express his thoughts about the hunt for communists in the U.S. as Americans let fear control them causing fellow neighbors to suspect each other and ignore one another 's civil rights and as stated by History.com “ the Red Scare – is often cited as an example of how unfounded fears can compromise civil liberties”(History.com “Red Scare”) . The attitude of the 50 's also helped to play a vital part in how Miller came to choose to write about the trials as Americans branded communists were as stated by History.com “hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs. ”(History.com “Red Scare”), Miller lived in a world that was teetering on the edge of fear.