The Crucible Background

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The main idea behind Arthur Miller’s fictional play, The Crucible, is that no matter the circumstances, if someone was accused of witchcraft, they were automatically considered guilty no matter how high up in social class ranking they were even if there was no sign of any factual proof or evidence. There are many parallels between situations in the play and what was happening at home in the United States throughout the Red Scare in the 1950s and 1960s. At the same time the play was first written, citizens in the United States were being charged with the offense of being communists or spies for the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which was considered one of the most serious, if not biggest crimes back then. Along with that and situations in…show more content…
The accusations came after Julius’s brother-in-law, David Greenglass claimed that Julius requested him to give details to the Russians on how to assemble atomic weapons. Greenglass followed and passed the information to his friend, Harry Gold, who then gave it to the Soviets. The Russians’ attempt at making the bomb based on the information given to them failed, sparking the Cold War in 1949. Although there was no proof of Rosenberg’s involvement, the court believed Greenglass’s admission of Rosenberg’s participation and planning. Because they were convicted, both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were “sentenced to death row on April 6”. Along with them, Greenglass was also sentenced for his participation. The Rosenbergs had even turned down a deal that would allow them to not be sentenced to death if they chose to admit to their wrong-doing, but decided not to and were then executed (Rosenberg).
In addition to the Rosenbergs, there were also a numerous amount of people considered to be victims of McCarthyism. Three of them include Owen Lattimore and Val Larwin and Arthur Miller. Owen Lattimore, the “government’s liaison to Chiang Kai-Shek”, was accused of being the most prominent insider for the Soviet Union (Victims). After a week of enduring an immense amount of pressure for answers by Joseph McCarthy, Lattimore
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Growing up, money wasn’t something that came easy for the Miller family. In 1929, they were affected by the Wall Street Crash and were forced to move to Brooklyn (Biography). He didn’t let this personal and financial hardship affect him, though. “The Depression (the most formative crisis in Miller’s life) was in many ways a positive force…” (Carson). “Miller’s refusal to believe that man is helpless” influenced him to find work for small jobs, and even manage to save up enough money for him to attend the University of Michigan where he was able to complete his very first original play, No Villain (Carson). After learning what he could from the playwright, Kenneth Rowe, Miller opted to move back and become a writer himself (Biography). Miller soon learned that making a name for yourself as a writer wasn’t going to be easy. His first projects, The Man Who Had All the Luck and Focus, didn’t get the reviews or recognition he was hoping for. It wasn’t until 1947 when his next play, All My Sons, that he would start gaining the acknowledgement he thought he deserved. This play won him a Tony Award and ran for nearly a year on Broadway. Following All My Sons was another hit, Death of a Salesman. Written in less than a day in 1949, it not only won him another Tony Award for Best Play, but also the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and above all, a Pulitzer Prize
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