The sheriff is also the nephew of one of the magistrates that is conducting the trials. In addition to more rumors around the village, Reverend George Burroughs is brought back to Salem for trial of witchcraft. Documentation claims that he becomes defiant and uncooperative during his questioning refusing to the claims of witchcraft. During his trial eight people come forward as witnesses clamming Burroughs had conducted all of the gatherings for witchcraft. Burroughs is sentenced to death and while standing on the gallows with the noose around his neck he quotes the Lord’s Prayer.
The young boy soon left in tears and the priest knelt by the bed for his afternoon prayers. “Bless me father for I have sinned….” After prayers the priest tells the reflection in mirror that he is a man of power and that his following worships him like those who followed Jesus. He even thought of how Jesus was tempted and that eased some of his guilt from his sexual rituals. He cried out to the mirror, “everyone keeps secrets.” However, this lasted only a few seconds as he was reminded of the worshippers anxiously awaiting his presence on the altar.
The hospital bed is uncomfortable against your back, digging into all the entirely wrong places and making you sore all over. It doesn’t help the headache thrumming in your head, either. You are hyper aware of everything: from your breathing being in time with the beeping machine next to you to the rushed words and footsteps outside the closed door. You close your eyes (10, 20, 30, 40, 50 – stop), feeling the air conditioning on your skin and keeping you away from the darkness that you can feel lingering at the edges. The boy across from you is rigid, his shoulder square as he stares up at the ceiling, both hands fisted tightly in the sheets.
McCarthyism: Senator Joe McCarthy organized a twentieth-century version of witch-hunting. In the early 1950's he exploited the US fears about Communism and managed to create a national campaign against Communists. As chairman of a senate committee, the House Un-American Activities Committee, he interrogated many witnesses and tried to make them inform on their friends and colleagues. Powerful figures like J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI, were happy to support McCarthy. This was when McCarthy's anti-Communist campaign was at its height and there are obvious parallels in the Crucible: unsupported accusations; people encouraged to denounce their friends and acquaintances; a spiral of fear and suspicion.
Miller chose to write about a small settlement called Salem, in what was (at the time the play was set) the 'New World', North America. He had previously read a book entitled 'The devil in Massachusetts' by Marion Starkey, and took an interest in the subject. He soon discovered parallels between the problems faced by those who were accused of witchcraft all those years ago, and those having to answer charges of Communism or affiliation with Russia or her allies in any way, in his present day situation. As in the story, the American authorities had in their possession lists of names of people who had for instance, supposedly attended a meeting of communist sympathises (maybe even ten or twenty years previously). However they were still keen for witnesses to name names, in return for their freedom.
They even accused people they did not know e.g. Abigail accused Hales wife whom she had never met. By October 1692 doubts had set in about the girl's testimony. In December 1692 Governor Phillips appointed a new session of the Superior Court of Judicature to clear the jails, and issued a general pardon to all persons still under suspicion. By this time, however, nineteen people had been hanged, one pressed to death under a pile of rocks (Giles Corey) for refusing to speak at his own trial, and at least two more people had died in prison, bringing the number of deaths to twenty-two.
The McCarthy era, The Salem Witch Trials, and “The Crucible” all have similarities between each other. One may believe that “The Crucible” is an allegory for McCarthyism because back in 1956, Arthur Miller and other townspeople were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and a lot of them became blacklisted. Senator McCarthy suspected many people of being Communist Party Members and the accused would have had to defend themselves against the HUAC. Miller refused to name the suspected communists and because of that he was convicted for contempt of court. “In 1957, four years after the play's premiere, Miller testified before the House Committee; although he admitted that he had attended a meeting of communist writers, he denied ever having been a member of the Communist” (Contemporary Literary Criticism Select).
John and Elizabeth continue to argue. John Hale appears at their doorway. He is traveling to each house, talking to those who were mentioned in court, trying to find out more information about them. John says that he knows that Abigail and the other girls are not telling the truth. Two Salem citizens that have had wives arrested show up and a short time passes before a party comes to arrest Elizabeth.
Arthur Miller has used the idea of the real witchcraft trials in 1962 that has been happening in Salem in America and he decided to use this type of ideas to write the play called “The Crucible” and used a representation of McCarthyism which is the witch hunt organisation which began in 1938 in America and the hypothesis of witchcraft is still inspired by the people and the audience today. Arthur Miller demonstrates how people were easily being accused and blamed in any reasons and with little amount of proof were to be punished. Arthur Miller used a variety of dramatic devices such as sentence structure, interrupting speeches, short responses and also stage directions which give the audience an impression of the feelings and the reactions in the atmosphere of the character’s in particular. Arthur Miller shows a lot of dramatic situations especially in Act 3 where the situation is involving most of the characters and also shows Abigail Williams dramatic exaggerated reaction of seeing spirits as a way of blaming other characters and taking in the attention of the judges but somehow the relationship between Elizabeth and Proctor will make the audience to care for them as Miller used remarkable stage directions in that Act .This also clarifies tension that is building up from Act 1 to Act 2 then in Act 3 the tension is out of control in the court which implies the attraction of interest of the audience. As the Witch craft accusation proofs rises seeing that the act of Abigail William’s frustrated reactions is more considered by the court it suggests that the ending of the play will be dramatic.
The play begins in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris, whose daughter, Betty, lays ill. Parris lives with his daughter and his seventeen-year old niece, Abigail Williams, an orphan who witnessed her parents' murder by the Indians. Parris has sent for Reverend Hale of Beverly, believing his daughter's illness stems from supernatural explanations. Betty became ill when her father discovered her dancing in the woods with Abigail, Tituba (Parris' slave from Barbados) and several other local girls. Already there are rumours that Betty's illness is due to witchcraft, but Parris tells Abigail that he cannot admit that he found his daughter and niece dancing like heathen in the forest. Abigail says that she will admit to dancing and accept the punishment, but will not admit to witchcraft.