The Crucible and McCarthyism Assignment

The Crucible and McCarthyism Assignment Words: 434

Between February 1692 and May 1693, in several towns in the state of Massachusetts, dozens of people were accused of witchcraft. Nineteen people were sentenced to death by the state government because of all the villagers that accused each other of being possessed by the devil. In contemporary times, these events are generally known as the Salem witch trials.

A few hundred years later, in the early sass’s, author Arthur Miller wrote a play about this part of American history called The Crucible. In this analysis I will argue that The Crucible, a play with hysteria and paranoia as main themes, partly represents the McCarthy Era, in which hundreds of United States inhabitants were accused of being communistic without hard evidence. After the second World War, the world Immediately got caught up In another war that would cover many years: the Cold War. It was a time of military and political tension teen the United States capitalists and the Soviet communists.

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Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953, when Senator Joseph McCarthy accused dozens of people who worked for the US government of being communist Infiltrators, without any evidence. The fear he spread among the people from the United States at that time Is comparable to the fear for witches that the Inhabitants of Salem spread In their own villages. “The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set In among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater Individual redeem” (Miller, 16).

This sentence Illustrates that the witch-hunt was the product of mass-panic, Just as the hunt for communists was. The Crucible Is not fully relatable to McCarthy. As Miller himself says his article ‘Why I Wrote The Crucible” In The New Yorker: “McCarthy power to stir fears of creeping communism was not entirely based on Illusion”, whereas the witch-hunt In Salem was fully based on Illusion since witches do not exist as far as we know. However, there are many more points that

Illustrate escalates between the Crucible and McCarthy, for example the dark forest In the play. “The Salem folk believed that the vulgar forest was the Devil’s last preserve, his home base and the citadel of his final stand” (Miller, 15). Since Salem was surrounded by that forest, the people believed they were surrounded by the Devil. In McCarthy Era, the fear of being surrounded and Infiltrated by communists was at Its highest point. In this case, the Devil In The Crucible represents communism In the McCarthy era. In conclusion, It Is clear that Miller’s play The

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