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"the Crucible" and the Red Scare

Essay by review  •  March 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  980 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,154 Views

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In the play The Crucible there is a big controversy over witchcraft. Some children were dancing in the woods with the slave and the Rev. caught them. So that they wouldn't get in trouble they lied to him saying it was witchcraft and that the slave girl made them do it. Then they start blaming people saying that they had seen them with the Devil. When they had not. Well the town went crazy thinking there were witches in there town. So when a person was asked if they were a witch and they said no then the townspeople said they were lying and would hang them. But if they had said they were and had 'repented' and blamed someone else of being a witch they were free to go. But the story wasn't only about trying to save there lives if someone wanted land or another persons wife/husband then they would say that that person was a witch so they would get hanged and the person who wanted the land or spouse could have them without stealing or committing a crime.

This play was written in a time period when there was a similar controversial era. It was called the McCarthy era. Of course they weren't calling people witches or anything but they were calling them communists. Well I will tell you a little background on the subject.

In 1949, when the Soviets made their first atomic bomb and when Chinese communism had hit its greatest, fear was everywhere in the United States. In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy said that communism had crossed over to America and there were spy's letting out secret American information. McCarthy accused the Truman administration of ignoring these people and not finding them and kicking them out of the country. As the thought of communism grew McCarthy kept feeding it with his ideas. Saying he had over 200 names of people who were connected to the communist party. When asked for the list he could never show any evidence. But people were being accused of being a communist. And in that day communist were highly prosecuted and names were put in a 'black book'. A lot of time they would have to quit their jobs move away and possibly change there names just so they wouldn't be prosecuted for no reason. So it was like they were calling witch.

These two events were alike in that they were both using very big issues in there time periods. And they both accused innocent people without concrete evidence. Arthur Miller wrote this play during the McCarthy era to symbolize what was going on in the nation. The government then accused Miller of being a communist as well as many other writers, actors and producers in Hollywood. Government officials and military leaders were also among the accused. The Salem Witch Craft Trials parallel the McCarthy Era in many aspects; this includes the fact that they are based on no truth only on gossip and greed.

In the play The Crucible has characters that symbolize the people involved in McCarthyism. For instance Reverend Hale represents the publishers who refused to put Millers play put to the public even though they believed in what he was saying, they feared being accused themselves and they feared criticism. Marry Warren represents all the people who followed McCartney's accusations blindly. Abigail represents McCartney himself.

The Salem Witch Trials were a good metaphorical

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