How The Crucible Is an Allegory for the McCarthy Era

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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. In The Crucible it uses situations such as the actual trials; direct comparisons of the characters in the book to those that participated in the McCarthy trials and, the atmosphere of the two events were almost identical. One example of The Crucible being an allegory to the McCarthy Era is the similarity in the way people were accused. In both instances “Habeas corpus” and “Innocent until proven guilty” are not present. In The Crucible the accused entered the courtroom with a decided fate. To Judge Danforth they were guilty unless they could prove themselves innocent or confess and give him the names of other witches. Even though this was unfair, people were afraid that if they stood up to it than they too would be accused. In John Proctors case this was true. John Proctor goes to the courthouse to free his wife who has been accused of witchcraft. Slowly, Danforth and Hawthorn turn it against him and accuse him of witchcraft. All hell breaks loose in the courtroom and Proctor has an outburst. “I say-I say- God is dead! ... A Fire, a fire is burning. I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of,... ... middle of paper ... ...ould lessen their power and it would all go downhill from there. Though many say that it was not worth giving his life and he was not successful in rebelling Miller intended for John Proctor to be an allegory for Edward R. Murro. All in all Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was written to be a perfect allegory to the McCarthy era. Many of the events, strategies and people on both sides are similar in the play and the McCarthy Era itself. Many similarities can be drawn between the two including the basis upon which of the victims were persecuted, the strategy to lessen their sentences and the driving factor behind both conflicts, fear. The Crucible was written as a silent but obvious rebellion to McCarthy because during the McCarthy Era Miller was accused of being communist as well. The Crucible was a play, an allegory and a rebellion to and about the McCarthy Era.

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