‘The Crucible’ as an Allegory for McCarthyism Essay examples

‘The Crucible’ as an Allegory for McCarthyism Essay examples

Length: 993 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

‘The Crucible’ is an allegory. An allegory is a story with an obvious meaning but if you look deeper into it, there is another meaning. In this case, the obvious meaning is the Salem witch-hunt and the hidden meaning is McCarthyism. McCarthyism started in the early 1950’s and it was governmental accusations with no evidence. Joseph McCarthy started doing trials on those he thought were communist, but he had no evidence for it. This is the same as the witch trials in The Crucible. Arthur Miller wrote this in response to McCarthyism.

Arthur Miller uses some dramatic techniques in The Crucible. One of the examples of dramatic technique is subtexting. Subtexting is a hidden meaning within what is said or done by a character. An example of this is when Elizabeth says to John “what keeps you so late?”. This is subtexting because she is asking him why he is late home but she is really trying to suggest was he with Abigail.
Another dramatic technique he uses is creating tension at the end of each act. At the end of act 1, the girls started naming people who they ‘saw with the devil’. This scene shows how much the girls are desperate to save themselves because they are putting the blame on people they know. For example, when Abigail says, “I saw Goody Bibber with the Devil”. This chanting started by Tituba being so frightened of being hung, she had to do something. It is shown that she is very scared by the stage direction “rocking and weeping”.
At the end of act 2, Elizabeth Proctor is being arrested, and with rage, John Proctor tells Mary Warren that she will go to court with him to tell the truth that she never saw the devil to make sure that Elizabeth is named innocent. This scene reveals a little about John’s character. I...


... middle of paper ...


... the audience do not know what John is thinking, he may still love Abigail but knows it is wrong to do; therefore he hides his love for her. Maybe he loves Elizabeth and not Abigail? Or maybe he even loves them both? It isn’t know for sure.

In my opinion, I think that The Crucible is successful in its own right because it taught many people about mass hysteria, the witch-hunt and also McCarthyism and how these were all linked.
I think the allegory was successful because it shows people the madness of the McCarthy hearings and how people react to mass hysteria.
I have learnt that human nature is fully to blame for the disaster that took place in Salem. This is because humans just in general try to defend themselves. The girls were defending themselves so they started blaming others. If they had never done this, then none of it would have ever happened.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Allegory of McCarthyism in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay examples

- The play “The Crucible”, written by Arthur Miller, used The Salem Witch Hunt trials as an allegory of the McCarthy hearings and the true horrors behind how America dealt with attempted Communism. Tension is evident throughout the play, and each character participates in intensifying it which entangles them into the extreme consequences of the tension they helped to circulate. The significance of Salem is that the tension can be sourced from within every character as they are engulfed in hidden and publically known feuds....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible 2014]

Strong Essays
2025 words (5.8 pages)

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: An Attack on McCarthyism? Essay

- In 1692, a group of girls living in Salem Massachusetts fell ill. Suffering from seizures and hallucinations, in extremely religious Puritan New England, the only cause seemed to be the work of the devil or his servants. The sickness ignited fears of witchcraft, and it was only a matter of time until not only the girls, but many other residents of Salem, started accusing other villagers of conspiring with the devil, and casting dark magic. By the August of 1962, nineteen people were executed by the Massachusetts government and judicial system, who were heavily influenced by religion....   [tags: communists, allegory, witch trials]

Strong Essays
662 words (1.9 pages)

Mccarthyism And The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

- Niam Mohseni Ms. Sussman English 2 October 26, 2014 McCarthyism and The Crucible Events have played out in history that made people realize the inhumane acts of people and the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era were two of them. The Salem witch trials in 1692 were almost 260 years before the McCarthy “witch hunts” in the 1950s yet there are similarities between them. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, is about the Salem witch trials and is an allegory to the practicing of McCarthyism during the Second Red Scare in the United States, which Miller was a victim of....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, McCarthyism]

Strong Essays
968 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on How The Crucible Is an Allegory for the McCarthy Era

- A very famous man once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933). This is certainly true when it comes to Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible. Arthur Miller lived through the Red Scare, also known as McCarthyism. After living through this era and being one of the accused communists Miller wrote the book titled The Crucible in 1952. This book told the story of the Salem witch trials with some modifications to make it more relevant to the current situation. The book ultimately became an allegory devoted solely to McCarthyism....   [tags: Arthur Miller play, witch hunt]

Strong Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

The Allegorical Meaning of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

- ... The aim of the play would have been completely obsolete since it was written for a specific time period. McCarthyism lasted approximately from 1950 to 1956. However, nowadays, McCarthyism means “The use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition” , which is in a sense different from the vision of McCarthyism during the Cold War. Therefore, writing the play during the twenty first century to denounce McCarthyism would not have had the same impact as it did before as people do not have the same vision about McCarthyism anymore....   [tags: McCarthyism, influence, political]

Strong Essays
845 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Crucible By Arthur Miller

- With treasures of valuable lessons to learn, Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ is a sturdily startling fictionalized account of the McCarthyism era that took place in the 1950s. The rigid religious and moral views by Salem’s religious leaders on the townspeople, overthrowing the community’s thoughts by ruling with absolute terror and violence subsidizes to a town’s mass hysteria when Abigail, a young girl coated with selfishness and wickedness, along with her group of friends indict innocent people who have slighted them of performing witchcraft....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft]

Strong Essays
1544 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism in Arthur Miller´s The Crucible

- Telling lies, making false accusations, having suspicion, betraying others and creating fear in others are just some of the factors that caused McCarthyism in the United States. Named after Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism is the false accusation of someone being a communist. Numerous playwrights are recognized as an allegory for McCarthyism. Arthur Miller, born in 1915, was one of America’s greatest writers for his diversity, his courage, and the influence that he has made on readers all around the world....   [tags: Communism, Play]

Strong Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about The Crucible By William Miller

- A crucible, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is a severe test. In his play, The Crucible, Arthur Miller conveys the message of McCarthyism by writing an allegory to the Puritan times and the Salem witch trials. However, there are many more hidden messages that Miller weaves in to the plotlines of the play. These messages surface as themes that illuminate the purpose of the author, which was to show flaws in Society and McCarthyism. Throughout the play, some of the major themes that are in the play are that theocracy makes the whole of society worse, that people try to save their reputation by committing act of crime and sinning, and that mass-hysteria causes people to stop listen...   [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor]

Strong Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)

Exposing The Irony of McCarthyism Essay

- Both The Crucible and “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” agree with the hypocrisy and lack of sense that the time called the Red Scare or McCarthyism began, fed and ended. The Crucible uses the Salem Witch Trials as an allegory to show this side of the Red Scare while Bob Dylan uses an obvious sarcasm to show his point of view. Both Bob Dylan and Arthur Miller expose the irony of the time period called McCarthyism. The Crucible was written to show people living during the Cold War how ridiculous their thoughts, actions and beliefs were....   [tags: Communism]

Strong Essays
676 words (1.9 pages)

Theme of Witch Hunts in The Crucible and the Rwandan Genocide Essay

- In 1953, a book/play called The Crucible was published. It was written by Arthur Miller as an allegory of the McCarthyism era. It talks of the causes and effects of the Salem witch trials in the late 1600's. The story is told in a way that made the people of the 50's realize how crazy they were actually acting. In 1994, two Rwandan tribes were fighting each other to the death. One was called the Tutsi tribe and the other was the Hutu tribe. These clans differed only slightly. The Tutsi were taller, had darker skin, and wider noses....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Strong Essays
759 words (2.2 pages)