The Crucible Social Commentary Analysis

1413 Words6 Pages

The Crucible History is bound to repeat itself. Events in history can always be parallel to modern examples. This is a frequent occurrence and it is natural progression of history. Of course these parallels aren’t flawless. As such making a social commentary alluding to one event through the perspective of another may require some invention of facts. 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. …show more content…

Soon after the release of his play critics began to notice the allegorical nature of the play. It was released in a time when the paranoia and hysteria was very relevant. It was dealt with by people regularly. Miller comments though that the reality of the situation was that The Red Scare was almost a more serious event in his mind. “Inevitably, it was no sooner known that my new play was about Salem than I had to confront the charge that such an analogy was specious -- that there never were any witches but there certainly are Communists.(Miller, Why I wrote The Crucible)” Miller was guilty of egocentrism. He devalued the witches of the trials because he didn’t live through them while he did live through The Red Scare. Though the hysteria of the witch trials were very real. The people of the time were just as paranoid and fearful as Miller and his contemporaries were of the Communists. John Ditsky explains the dynamic of Salem’s Hysteria. “We ought not overlook the fact that the Salem trials were a manifestation of a popular hysteria excited by at least partially genuine causes.(Ditsky, Stone, Fire and Light: Approaches to The Crucible)” Ditsky claims that it was legitimate hysteria. While witches in the sense that they believed did not exist; in the popular mind they did, and it was this hysteria that was dangerous. Miller himself exemplifies this. Through his lense of The Red Scare he couldn’t see the true hysteria behind the witch trials only the facade. This within itself is a major piece of the social commentary. History repeats itself. While the two events do no mirror identically they are highly similar, and both from a modern lens seem ludicrous. Communism wasn’t as widespread as people believed, and not every resident of Salem was a

Show More
Open Document