Miller had to be subtle in how he expressed his feelings about the political movement McCarthyism, so he used the play as an allegory. This play uses the Salem witch-hunt, because of the similarities in the unsupported accusations, and how people were encouraged to denounce their friends and family if they were known witches otherwise they could be portrayed as witches. The Salem witch-hunt was a lot more savage and the behavior of the people was anthropomorphic, with the "witches" being burned to the stake, with only people's accusations as evidence. Salem was a theocracy and church was considered to be the most important part of life. Miller had to recontextualize the story, to make sure that the society didn't make accusations towards him.
Many people who still supported the communist party still lived in the U.S. When the U.S. joined the Cold war, trying to rid the communist party from Europe and Asia, the U.S. were afraid that the people living in the United States that still supported communism were spies that would give intel back to the Soviet Union to try to destroy their government. If anybody was a suspected communist, if somebody just didn’t like somebody, or if they were even greedy they could accuse the person of communism and the person would be thrown in the penitentiary, thus, starting the second red scare. The red scare was a time where people were falsely accused of being communist spies, and would be sent to prison. If somebody hated their neighbor, a co-worker, or even a teacher they could just accuse them of being a communist spy.
The Red Scare happened during the Cold War when the US and Russia were threatening each other by trying to build more power than the other. At the time, Americans were very fearful of communists, so when one man named Joseph McCarthy, a Senator from Wisconsin, starting telling people that there were communists living among them, many people believed him (Westlund). The composition of The Crucible is about the Salem Witch Trials, but there are clear parallels that can be connected to the McCarthy Hearings. The people in Salem were afraid of witchcraft and many people believed accusations because they were afraid. The comparison was very controversial and ended up getting Arthur Miller accused of communist affiliation.
Babel was tried by an NVDK troika, a commission of three persons who issued sentences, and was prosecuted for being a spy for the French, Austrians and Leon Trotsky. Babel was imprisoned in Butyrka Prison and was shot on January 27th 1940. The Great Terror that occurred from 1934 to 1940 greatly impacted Soviet society due to the enforcement of the Stalinist policy by the NKVD. The implementation of the policy through the purges of innocent individuals and government members, the forced convictions of the innocent during the show trials from 1936 to 1938 and the effects this all had on groups in society such as the intelligentsia, greatly affected the lives of Soviet people making them fearful for their safety and their future. The Terror not only removed dissent from society but also made people fearful.
Miller is saying that even today extremes end up bad- communism, like strict puritans, was restrictive and extreme. It only made people suffer. Afraid of communism, Americans looked for “hidden” communists, just like the secret “witches”. He was also speaking to his 1950s audience here by explaining the paradox today: “It is a paradox in whose grip we still live […].” “Keeping the community together” also refers to Americans in the 1950s when the government tried to purify America from communism in order to keep Americans “together”. Response: I think that neither communism nor puritanism are good, because both of them are restrictive in many ways- anyone who comes out of the set frames becomes guilty.
They led a very austere and bleak life. The people of Salem - from which the audience derive their "good" and "evil" characters - were superstitious and highly religious, and their Theocratic form of government offered them security and unity. However, this strong religious background also offered the option to use it misguidedly to promote the evil of false accusations. The excessive and blind religious fanaticism... ... middle of paper ... ...n 1947 but a year later in 1958 his conviction was quashed by the Supreme Court. The play is relevant to any society destroyed by fear, suspicion, paranoia and accusation - other societies where something similar has happened include East Germany under communism after World War 2, Afghanistan under the Taliban and China under the Cultural Revolution when the Red Guards would decry people for being bourgeois reactionaries.
The red scare was brought upon by men like Joseph McCarthy, who were eager to exploit people’s fear of Russia for personal benefit and power. Anyone who was associated with communism was highly scrutinized to be a Russian spy. Instead of fighting for the rights of the accused individuals, many social action groups ridded themselves of these very people. Durr realized that red baiting would destroy liberal groups which were fighting for justice. The NCAPT refused to dismiss people who were believed to be communist, but other groups were driven by fear and fired large numbers of people.
He was asked to confess to signing his name. He quoted: "In truth, I had supported these various causes to express my fear of fascism and my alienation from the waste of potential in America while knowing nothing about life under any socialist regime" The activities seemed to have been linked in Millers mind with witchcraft trials two centuries ago. Miller saw these public confessions as parallels with the naming at Salem... ... middle of paper ... ... play includes interesting messages about how reasonable individuals can become completely irrational and get carried away when they become part of a mob. But in the end, who is to blame? Puritanism, Abigail or Danforth?
Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism, and The West Memphis Three, are all about people believing what others say out of fear of the unknown we know this because of historical examples, modern examples, and factors that contributed. McCarthyism, the Salem Witch trials and the west memphis three all had a fear of the unknown, and accused the people who were not like others because they were out of the ordinary. The West Memphis Three and the Salem Witch trials had more of a satanic panic, and were based in a very religious towns. McCarthyism was all over the US and was about fear of communism and spies. The salem witch trials occurred in the 1600's in the very religious town of salem.
Some say that the aftermath of the McCarthy and the Salem Witch Trials stems from McCarthy and the government. On the other hand, the people of both eras allow for this fear to run through their minds and control them, and fail to stand up for what is right, thus putting the responsibility on themselves for the devastations left in the aftermath of the Salem Witch Trails and the McCarthy Trials. Fear and terror are found inside the minds of many during the Salem Witch Trials and again during the McCarthy Trials, but only people who allowed the fear to overpower them are held responsible for the source of this fear comes from the government. The government feeds off the innocent villagers terror, which expands its‘ power. During the Salem Witch Trials, no separation of church and state exists, thus creating tension and the strict religion the villagers obey.