The Crucible: An Allegory for the McCarthy Era Essay

The Crucible: An Allegory for the McCarthy Era Essay

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The Crucible was written as an allegory for the McCarthy era in 1953 by Arthur Miller; an American playwright. The McCarthy era was epitomized by the fear of Communism that Senator McCarthy whipped up. He fostered a witch hunt against anyone who disagreed with his views. Miller’s intention was that the play would be a parody of his own context (himself) with John Proctor quite evidently being a reflection of Miller. The witches in the play symbolized communism. A ‘Crucible’ can mean both; "a container for melting or purifying metals by heat" and "a severe test." Miller describes the village of Salem as ‘the container’ and its contents; the God-fearing residents of Salem along with their emotions. This ‘purification process’ is exactly what those accused (of witchcraft) suffer and the use of ‘heat’ is a reference to hell; where they will go if they are not to confess.
Conscience is the individual awareness of what is right and wrong and the theme of conscience in the play is strongly emphasised. In the Crucible the idea of conscience is based on that of Christianity. The conscience ...

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