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Connecting McCarthyism and The Crucible

analytical Essay
1363 words
1363 words
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The horrors of history are passed on from generation to generation in hopes that they will never occur again. People look back on these times and are appalled at how horrendous the times were; yet, in the 1950s, history repeated itself. During this time, Joseph McCarthy, a United States senator from Wisconsin, began accusing people of being communists or communist sympathizers, which is parallel to the Salem witch trials in the late 1690s when innocent people were accused of practicing witchcraft. One of the people McCarthy accused was author and playwright Arthur Miller. To express his outrage at McCarthy’s actions, miller wrote The Crucible, intentionally drawing similarities between the McCarthy hearings and the Salem witch trials. Miller directly targets McCarthy through the character Abigail Williams in The Crucible. Abigail is portrayed as a sneaky, manipulative girl, not unlike McCarthy. Abigail desperately yearned for John Proctor, begging him to “give [her] a word…a soft word,” but when John pushed her away and told her “that’s done with,” Abigail felt that the only way she could have John to herself was to accuse his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, of practicing witchcraft (Miller 1246). Although Abigail had no evidence that the people she accused were practicing witchcraft, the court took her accusations seriously because Abigail had credibility. Abigail accused Tituba of witchery, and when Tituba confessed that she had, in fact, conversed with the devil, it proved to the townspeople that Abigail had told the truth (1262). Similarly, McCarthy accused innocent people of being communists in order to get what he wanted: popularity in the political race for reelection for senator of Wisconsin (“Persecution” 1). McCarthy gaine... ... middle of paper ... ...eb. 27 Dec. 2011. . "McCarthyism: The Aftermath." Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Web. 29 Dec. 2011. . Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. Kate Kinsella, et. Al, New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2002. 1233-1334. Print. "Persecution." Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Web. 29 Dec. 2011. . "The Red Scare: McCarthyism." Essortment Articles: Free Online Articles on Health, Science, Education & More... Web. 29 Dec. 2011. . "Whittaker Chambers." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 29 Dec. 2011. .

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the horrors of history are passed on from generation to generation in hopes that they will never occur again. mccarthy, a senator from wisconsin, began accusing people of being communists, paralleling the salem witch trials.
  • Analyzes how miller targets mccarthy through the character of abigail williams in the crucible.
  • Explains that abigail and mccarthy were not the only ones who lied during the salem witch trials.
  • Explains miller, arthur, and kinsella's the crucible. prentice hall literature: timeless voices, themes.
  • Opines that the red scare: mccarthyism is a free online article on health, science, education, and more.
  • Analyzes how the salem witch trials and mccarthy hearings were an example of history repeating itself.
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