Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, Nazi Germany, and the Red Scare

1079 Words5 Pages
In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller paints an image in the reader’s mind of the brutality that ensued in the Salem, Massachucettes Witch Trials and ventures into the personal stories of both the victims and the people who initiated the entire catastrophe. History is constantly repeating itself, this becomes apparent by comparing the Salem Witch Trials, Nazi Germany, and the Communist scare in America. When Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible, he kept in mind what some thoughtlesslessly assumed to be an ever expanding Communist revolution and utilized some of the corrupt problems throughout those years in his play. Blind faith, ignorance, disloyalty, fighting for power, and human indecency are all contributing factors of the mass hysteria that ensued during the McCarthyist “witch- hunts” as well as the Salem Witch Trials in The Crucible. Millers intention for writing this story was not only to prove a point about the appalling historic tragedies, but to express the dominance that betrayal, thirst for power, and ignorance have over a community through the characters John Proctor, Abigail, and Reverend Hale.

John Proctor grows to be the hero of the story and his decision regarding pleading guilty to witchcraft and living with that lie; in contrast with not confessing, in which case he would be put to death. His ultimate decision assists Millers’ emphasis on the choices pertaining to betrayal. Proctor arrives in a point in his life where he is debating with himself the repercussions of betrayal to himself compared to betrayal of those citizens prior to him who were accused of witchcraft and died repectfully in his mind, as exemplary Christians. He disputes internally with himself and eventually decides that to die confident in ...

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...ter his internal switch flips and he stops believing everything he hears. Miller used Hale and the rest of the court- important religious and political figures- as a symbol of ignorance residing not only in the lower parts of a community but also in those who run it.

Arthur Millers’, The Crucible was written to exemplify the numerous amount of times that a group of people are taken into the grasp of mass hysteria, lead by duplicity, the search for power, and blind faith. The author shows these through specific victimized characters, the decietful citizens, and the towns unreliable government system. The book portays real life events about a time where all of these negative qualities lead to the death of innocent people and the corruption of a small village. Similar to the way additional sorrowful periods in history happens, around the world; over and over again.
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