During these hearings, he forced people to give up Ames Of Other “followers” and if they refused to give names Of Others, they were imprisoned. In Arthur Miller’s, the Crucible it was a based off the Salem Witch Trials. This era had the same tactics of dealing with the supposed followers as McCarthy, but in this case it was for witchcraft. Many people were accused of witchcraft and put to death for being related to the accusations. The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthy were both examples of false accusations and public hysteria. The Crucible and McCarthy were both fueled by fear.
In the onset of the Crucible, Abigail, a woman who was in love with John Proctor, began blaming people of being affiliated with witchcraft and communicating with the devil. She said, “She made me do it! She made Betty do it.. She makes me drink blood! ” (Miller 1. 43). Baby had blamed Tuba about being a part of witchcraft and it soon lead to her death because she couldn’t plead innocent. During this time the courts would just blame you for being a part of witchcraft and it was almost impossible to prove your innocence. Abigail kept blaming people and soon created the fear in the town because they believe she would blame them next.
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Many people became very cautious of their actions in the town cause they were afraid of being accused. McCarthy was fueled by the fear of the communists taking over and a potential nuclear war. Joseph McCarthy installed this fear into everyone because neither he nor the United States knew who was a communist or not. There had been spies that snuck into the states. The trust of people was lost and everyone was afraid of being accused themselves. In William Puffs, Revisionist View of McCarthy Misses the Mark, he states, “McCarthy was not about spies, it was about people who had been communist party members, or who had expresses pro-
Communist or fellow traveling sympathies. ” McCarthy had been cautious of the potential threats but he took it to far. It was almost impossible to prove your innocence. He made it so hard that to prove your innocence you had to tell the government about someone else who had affiliation with the communist life style. McCarthy and the Witch Trials had different ways of following through with their prosecutions. During the Salem Witch Trials, the people who were accused of witchcraft and denied their affiliation with the devil were hanged. There was no sympathy to the false accusations they made. When John
Proctor takes the blame for his own wife, to avoid her death he accepts the punishment but will not sign that he is affiliated, Hale says “Excellent is it enough he confess himself. Let him sign it, let him sign it. ” (Miller W. 141) John Proctor believes that his word is worth the amount of his signature because if he were to sign he would be signing his life way. He would lose his dignity and eventually he lost his life. During McCarthy nobody was killed for being accused. Most people were imprisoned and came out of prison with a bad reputation. A major example of this was the Hollywood Ten.
These were people in the filming industry who were accused of communism. McCarthy assumed that they were affiliated because of their movies, or shows had hidden messages telling people to follow communism. After many court hearings these celebrities were convicted. In HAUSA and The Hollywood Ten, “during and after the trials The Hollywood Ten were blacklisted. This meant that no one in the business would work with them for fear that they would be labeled a communist. ” The Hollywood Ten lost their income because they had a lack of work and many of them received no further entry back into the film industry and also a bad reputation.
Both of these historical events caused for public humiliation and fear. McCarthy and the Salem Witch Trials were very complex events in history. From false accusations, fear, public humiliation and also public hysteria, these TV’0 events played a big role in the history of the United States. McCarthy was the fear of communism and in the Crucible it was the fear of witchcraft. The United States has faced many potential problems with fear and these two problems being an example of this concept. Both McCarthy and the Salem Witch Trials were different events but show many correlations between each other.