The Salem Witch Trials In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky. Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. In the article “Are You Now or Were You Ever”, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials were similar and he does this through his choice of diction, figurative language, and rhetorical questions. To begin, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy Era and the Salem witch trials were in fact very similar through the use of diction. Throughout Millers article, it can be seen many times the way that he compares the McCarthy Era to The Crucible. At one point of his article, Miller uses the adjective of “cautionary” to explain the people chose of words during the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy Era. Millers choice of diction conveys the fear and the reluctance that people had in speaking of the events taking place due to the claims made against the accused witches and accused communist during the two different time periods. Miller explains how at those points in time “words had gotten fearsome” and people were
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