The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay example

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay example

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In his article “Why I Wrote The Crucible”, Arthur Miller elaborates on the political allegory he incorporated into his drama, The Crucible. Miller parallels the foundation of fear behind the Salem witch trials and the Second Red Scare, proving that it was the dominating factor perpetuating both conflicts. Analyzing Miller’s argument and drawing evidence from The Crucible, it is proven that the witch trials within The Crucible as well as the congressional hearings during the Second Red Scare were founded on the fear of the populace. The theory of absolutism accompanied this fear, and with both underlying the trials, people were encouraged to name those involved with witchcraft and Communism, leading to the ruin of many innocent people.
The Salem witch trials and the Second Red Scare were both driven by the anxieties of the community. During the Second Red Scare, “McCarthy’s power to stir fears of creeping Communism was not entirely based on illusion . . . [T]he Communist Party . . . was growing” (Miller, “Why I Wrote The Crucible”). The United States frantically worried about Communist infiltration in the government, and in response to this fear, the House of Un-American Activities Committee attempted to eliminate Communist fervor by holding congressional hearings and trials. They questioned many people, encouraging them to reveal names of those affiliated with any Communist organization. Likewise, in The Crucible, the Salem witch trials were founded upon the fear that witches were alive in the Puritan society. Within the play, Miller also creates the affair between John Proctor and Abigail Williams to further support that fear was the trials’ perpetuating factor. When Elizabeth Proctor urges John to reveal Abigail’s motives to th...


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... clear that his analogy paralleled the fear in both situations, which hazed the logical sense of authority and led to rash decisions determining the fates of many innocent people. The trepidation perpetuating the hunts was more than just the initial fear of witches or Communists, but it was also contributed by the fear of punishment. As a result, many individuals confessed the names of innocent people, and with the theory of absolutism present, those with the slightest affiliation were given the same punishment as those who were actively participating in witchcraft or the Communist party. Therefore, Miller draws similarities to show that The Crucible is a political allegory of the Second Red Scare, but does not depend on the existence of witches or Communists. Rather, the allegory stems from the underlying roots of both conflicts which lead to their similar outcomes.

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