McCarthy and a Witch As high schoolers, students learn about the world of politics in their history courses. Makes since, right? Well, there is also a great deal of politics in English, though it is brilliantly hidden in the eloquent writings that are studied. A perfect example of this undercover political lesson can be found in Arthur Miller's, The Crucible; a brilliant piece of work that parallels the historical havoc of the Salem Witch Trials to the Red Scare of the 1950’s.
The Salem Witch Trials of the 1690's were a hunt where many people were accused and executed for being charged guilty of witchcraft. Arthur Miller, the writer of The Crucible, created the play as an allegory to portray the events going on during the Red Scare. The Red Scare was when the fear of Communism spread rapidly throughout the U.S. because of accusations made by Senator Joseph McCarthy. He believed that many American citizens were part of a secret Communist Party. Most modern day witch-hunts are the same in the sense of how people are accused.
In the Crucible those who were accused of being guilty, put on trial, and who are expected to confess. Unsuccessful to that led to death. In McCarthy, the media were not disposed to stand up to Senator McCarthy for the fear of being accused of being a Communist. Fear is the main factor playing in both situations, terror of being accused or what people might say, or think.
When people are placed under an intense feeling of fear, they begin to commit actions they never thought they were capable over. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a young group of girls commit witchcraft which eventually leads to the arrest of over 100 women. This is similar to a time in the 1950s when Joseph McCarthy accuses government officials of communism and that ultimately leads to hundreds of citizens losing their jobs. The Crucible reveals the similarities between The Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and McCarthyism of the 1950s because it demonstrates how a society can be tremendously impacted by the feeling the fear.
In the play, The Crucible, Salem, Massachusetts, along with the United States during McCarthyism, is engulfed with paranoia. Although both situations include different causes, their effects are strikingly similar. For instance, throughout The Crucible, Abigail Williams is being shown repeatedly accusing innocent people of witchcraft. Her actions begin sending the small town into a panic as they throw people into jail and hang them in an effort to try and cleanse the town from any aspect of evil. Similarly, throughout 1950-1954, Joseph McCarthy falsely accused people within the United States Government of being a member of the Communist party.
People were terrified of communism spreading to the United States, so when accusations started floating around everyone would believe them. McCarthy accused people of communist behavior, although many were falsely accused, no one knew better than to think they were guilty because of how scared they were of communism spreading. This resembles how certain characters were accused of witchcraft in The Crucible. The Red Scare caused nationwide hysteria just how the Salem Witch Trials caused hysteria to the people of Salem.
Mass hysteria was present in both The Crucible and McCarthyism. Mass hysteria is when people went crazy because people were accused of being communists and or witches. Mass hysteria was however started by specific people in both scenarios. In Mccarthyism Joseph Mccarthy a United States Senator and in The Crucible Abigail Williams who was accused of having an affair with John Proctor her employer were the specific ones who accused people of being communists and witches. Even though the Salem witch trials happened in the late 1690s and McCarthyism in the 1950s they paralleled each other.
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.
Period4 The Crucible Essay Communism and Witchcraft have the same effect on humans, that effect is fear, when you hear fear you think of your worst nightmare or someone hiding in your closet, during the McCarthyism era and the salem witchcraft people had fear about whether their life is on the line or not. It all depended on one person in their community whether or not they choose to save their life. The Crucible by Arthur Miller is an allegory for the Red Scare in the McCarthy era because the girls feared Abigail just like everyone feared J.McCarthy, Elizabeth being accused is similar to McCarthy accusing the US Army, they are innocent just like Elizabeth.
In Arthur Miller 's play The Crucible, false accusations and fear are used to imprison and kill many people accused of being witches. In this way, The Crucible stands as an allegory for McCarthy 's communist hunt, during which many people were also killed and imprisoned due to accusations of communism. By comparing McCarthyism to the Salem Witch Trials, Miller is able to communicate that people should not conform to societal trends because these trends may be misleading and cause innocent people to get hurt. Many characters in The Crucible serve as allegories to McCarthy 's communist hunt, specifically Abigail Williams, Giles Corey, and Betty Parris.
In times of fear and hysteria in the U.S. it is mass chaos and it only gets worse and worse. During the time of both the witch-hunt eras, whether for communist or actual witches, they prove to have many similarities between them. Both of these times were full of confusion and lying which lead to the temporary downfall of the authority at that time. Joseph McCarthy proved to be a factor in this time and add on to the chaos that was America. Arthur Miller wrote about these times in a book called The Crucible, based on the witch trial era.
Cameron Oldfield Mrs. Brincks English III 15 November, 2015 The Crucible and Red Scare Imagine being thrown in jail, blamed for something that you didn't do .The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a story about how certain propaganda and false accusations can ruin lives, just like in the case of the Red Scare. Although 1692 the Salem witch trials and the Red Scare were over 200 years apart, The similarities are striking. both trials used intimidation, fear, hatred, and false accusations to ruin innocent lives. Both trials resulted in terrible outcomes, with both ending with innocent people being put to death and shunned from society.
Miller’s purpose of The Crucible was to represent and mirror the social injustice under McCarthyism as people falsely accused each other because their fear, jealousy and solely hatred of one another. Although, around 1950-1954 the “innocent until proven guilty” clause existed, most trials and accusations were led by “guilty until proven innocent.” Despite Miller’s efforts to criticise people’s actions as
In McCarthyism people were accused in many ways. Most of the victims were in a specific career section. They were targeted if they were government employees, entertainment industry, educators, and union activist. If those accused were found guilty, disloyalty, or treason were either deported,imprisoned, and/or lost their job. In “The Crucible” many people were accused without any specific evidence of their doing.
Arthur Miller constructs his play upon the famous Salem witch trails. Miller's Crucible was written in the early 1950s. Miller wrote his drama during the brief reign of the American senator Joseph McCarthy whose bitter criticized anti- communism sparkled the need for the United States to be a dramatic anti- communist society during the early tense years of the cold war. By orders from McCarthy himself, committees of the Congress commenced highly controversial investigations against communists in the U.S similar to the alleged Salem witches situation. Convict communists were ordered to confess their crime and name others to avoid the retribution.