Many people look back on the events of the Salem witch trials and laugh at the absurdity of the allegations. It seems crazy that society could be fooled into believing in things like witches and deal with the events in such an extreme manner. It is a common belief that witch hunts are things of the past. Many people would agree that they no longer exist today; however Arthur Miller, author of the play, "The Crucible", points out that society has not come very far from the days of the Salem witch trials. In his play, he used the Salem witch trials to represent the McCarthy Era because he saw that the nation was facing the same events that Salem went through back in the late 1600's. Arthur Miller wrote "The Crucible" in an attempt to create moral awareness for society. He did so by making a few small changes to the history and creating parallels in the play with racism, human tendencies, and H.U.A.C. Miller completed "The Crucible" in the 1950's. At that time, America was engulfed in the civil rights movement. Racism was a huge issue and people were fighting for equality and respect. African Americans were among the minorities that were persecuted by society. Miller touched on the subject of racism and related it the present time by his characterization of the woman, Tituba. Historically, Tituba was a native woman; however, in the story she was portrayed as a black woman. Tituba was a servant of Reverend Parris and one of the first to be accused of witchcraft. She was an easy target because she was a minority and did not have a lot. Her different culture made her stick out which caused people to surmise that she was witch. Abigail whined, "I could hear her singing her Barbados songs and tempting me..." Tituba's language was different, which made it seem evil to the sheltered community. Miller included the present day struggles of African Americans by changing the character of Tituba to a black woman. Although she was not persecuted only for being black, the fact that she was a minority made her easy to blame. Tituba confessed to practicing witchcraft and signing on with the devil after she was accused even though she was innocent. Naturally, many people that were accused of being witches chose to plead guilty because it was the only way that they would be able to live.
The Crucible is a dramatic play by Arthur Miller that has a direct tie to McCarthyism and how the witch trials and false accusation was related to the fear of someone being a communist. Generally, the story is about an affair between two primary characters that live in a Theology-ruled village. The secret of the affair was supposed to be assured until things got out when the truth was close to being in the limelight and a huge lie came out instead. This lie led to false accusations of believing that some people were part of witchcraft. Therefore, the situations became much more risky as people got hanged on whether or not they confessed they were a part of the witchery. Through the play, the character Mary Warren is depicted as a shy and powerless girl until she finally gains some control over the lives of people through her lies. This results in being labeled as an antagonist of the story, but she has traits similar to a protagonist which contradicts her character. In the end, Mary Warren is still a villain through her selfish and inconsiderate actions in the play.
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, focuses on the Salem witch trials and the extreme behavior that follows the trials. Miller shows how the dark desires and hidden agendas provokes such extreme behavior. The Crucible was written in a time when the anti-communist movement was strongly protested. During the Salem witch trials, a person was guilty until he proved himself
“No-no. There be no unnatural case here.” (Parris, The Crucible Act 1 Line 34) The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller about the Salem Witch Trials. Miller wrote this play as a critique of McCarthyism, but distanced it by using the Salem Witch Trials as the setting. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of treason without proper evidence. Using the Trials as the setting has strong suits, such as allowing him to compare McCarthyism indirectly and the events related strongly with society, and weaknesses, including the time period being so long-standing that it is not a modern example in their era and the idea of witches is farfetched compared to Communism.
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, was written during the early 1950s.It was the time of The rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s.All throughout history, accusations of witchcraft have been used as an excuse for the discrimination of people who cultures, traditions, race, and ideas were not easily accepted nor understood by the society even if it was untrue.In today’s society students are taught this because it show’s how important “The Crucible, and McCarthyism were and what changes they went through because of the human condition.It is extremely important and appropriate because it allows students the opportunity to respond in terms of their own experiences .The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism had many similarities. In The Crucible Abigail
Herbert Block, a cartoon illustrator during McCarthyism, depicts the absurdity of the communist accusations during the 1950s through his drawings of fictitious evidence and the power hungry government. Despite the lack of evidence, the influence of the government’s spurious claims causes unnecessary hysteria and chaos within America. Likewise, these events are prevalent within Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. The witch trials symbolize the court hearings during McCarthyism, and an identical absence of feasible evidence and a town overridden by fear lead to fallacious convictions. Block’s political cartoons embody the fraudulent evidence and hysteria over communism during McCarthy’s reign, which relates to the witch trials that Miller describes
What is McCarthyism? It is the public onslaught of an individual or an individual’s character by means of baseless and uncorroborated charges, basically the repudiation of a person’s reputation. Joe McCarthy was the Wisconsin senator that evoked this era of fear and paranoia by inflaming the current fear of world domination by the Communist party that enveloped the Nation. He did this by announcing that he had discovered “57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy.” (McCarthy, 1950, p. 2), later the amount of implicated individuals rose to 205. These accusations launched McCarthy into the national spotlight where he then began his smear campaign against many well-known Americans, which was commonly referred to as “witch-hunts”. Because of McCarthy’s actions, up to 12, people lots their jobs hundreds were incarcerated. He then turned his sights to book banning because he claimed there were 30,000 books written by all shades of Communists. After his lists were made public all were removed from the Overseas Library Program. But he was not finished yet, he then assailed members of the entertainment business. He had writers and actors brought to trial. Many of these people were blacklisted and worse, all without a single shred of evidence. When people spoke out against McCarthy they were thrown onto the communist train, until enough people came forward to rebuke McCarthy’s unprecedented tactics. At this point he fell from political power into dishonor on December 2, 1954. This ended the McCarthy era, but not the atmosphere of paranoia that lingers in the nation today.
“The Crucible was an act of desperation” (Why I Wrote). Arthur Miller successfully paralleled the Salem Witch Trials to the era of McCarthyism by using the similarities of the two events, capturing the essence of hysteria and mob mentality and altering the history in order to achieve the effect that he desired. The Crucible had a far reaching effect that Arthur Miller could have never imagined. He understood that history repeating itself is inevitable, yet held onto hope that his play would inspire humanity to learn from past mistakes rather than repeat them.
Repeated efforts to clean a society in times of distress and fear has occurred many times in history. One being the Salem witch trials as depicted by Arthur Miller in The Crucible. Ultimately, Arthur Miller's purpose in writing The Crucible was to warn about the threat of McCarthyism to the U.S. stressing points such as paranoia arising from a small fact, trauma caused by a depression, and an unjust legal system.
McCarthyism and The Crucible contain many similarities and differences in their persecution and accusation of people who are identified as criminals of their societies. McCarthyism and The Crucible contain many similarities and differences in their persecution and accusation of people who are identified as criminals of their societies. Both events in history contain extremely similar circumstances, including the accusation of one person leading to a mass hysteria enveloping a society to be overly suspicious of their fellow people. The two events also contain many differences, including time, society structure, and the magnitude of the event. McCarthyism is named for Joseph McCarthy, a Wisconsin senator in the 1950s that started a hysterical movement to expose the communists in the United States.
The Crucible is a 1953 play by Arthur Miller. Initially, it was known as The Chronicles of Sarah Good. The Crucible was set in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. It talks of McCarthyism that happened in the late 1600’s whereby the general public and people like Arthur Miller were tried and persecuted. The Crucible exemplifies persecutions during the Salem Witch Trials. The people were convicted and hung without any tangible proof of committing any crime. Persecutions were the order of the day. When a finger was pointed at any individual as a witch, the Deputy Governor Danforth never looked for evidence against them or evidence that incriminated them; he ordered them to be hanged. This can be seen through his words “Hang them high over the town! Who weeps for those, weeps for corruption!” (1273), the people were persecuted aimlessly. The four main characters in the play, John Proctor, Abigail Adams, Reverend Hale and Reverend Parris, are caught in the middle of the witchcraft panic in the religious Salem, Massachusetts in late 1690’s. Persecution is the most important theme in the Crucible, the leaders and citizens of Salem attacks and persecutes one of their own without any tangible evidence against them.
The Crucible is a famous play written by Arthur Miller in the Early 1950’s. It was written during the “Red scare, when McCarthyism was established. Many anti-communists wanted to prevent communism from spreading just like in The Crucible many wanted to get rid of witchcraft. Many would accuse others of witchcraft in order to not be accused just like many would accuse people of communism. In The Crucible witchcraft would be punishable by death. Many were scared to be accused; therefore many would admit practicing witchcraft in order to save their lives. The Crucible is considered a good play because it is based on real life events during the Salem witch Trials and shows how fear played a role in the individual’s life just like during the “Red” scare.
For example, Betty Paris and Ruth Putnam in the movie could not wake, but in Wilson’s historical depiction the only symptoms the afflicted girls had were: slipping into trances, cowering in corners, blurting nonsense, and collapsing into shrieking epileptic fits. Miller’s beginning scene of “The Crucible” where the girls were dancing and conjuring spirits in the woods with Tituba is not something that is known to have actually occurred. In Wilson’s historical depictions, Tituba is accused of being a witch because she made the witch cake, but in the film Abigail accuses her in order to avoid punishment because of what her and the girls were caught by Reverend Parris doing in the woods. Tituba’s confession in the movie was whipped out of her, but according to the historically she was interrogated, not whipped. Miller also changed why Martha Corey was accused in the film it is because her husband, Giles Corey, said she was reading suspicious books, but according to Wilson it was because Abigail said she saw her specter on the beams during sermon. According to Wilson’s historical depiction of the Salem Witch Trials, jailers would torture children to get them to confess their mother was a witch, but Miller did not put that in his
In The Crucible, the mass hysteria surrounding the witch trials caused paranoia amongst the people of Salem. Miller uses the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 as a symbol and allegory of the fear surrounding the spread of communism during the 1950s in America. The community’s sense of justice was blinded by the mass hysteria and for some, a desire for vengeance and personal gain. The Putnams
Arthur Miller writes about the tragic results of human failings in his play, The Crucible. He presents characters from the past and infuses them with renewed vitality and color. Miller demonstrates the horrifying results of succumbing to personal motives and flaws as he writes the painful story of the Salem witch trials. Not only do the trials stem from human failings but also from neglect of moral and religious considerations of that time. Characters begin to overlook Puritan values of thrift and hope for salvation. Focusing on the flawed characters, they begin to exhibit land lust, envy of the miserable and self-preservation.
Events have played out in history that made people realize the inhumane acts of people and the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era were two of them. The Salem witch trials in 1692 were almost 260 years before the McCarthy “witch hunts” in the 1950s yet there are similarities between them. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, is about the Salem witch trials and is an allegory to the practicing of McCarthyism during the Second Red Scare in the United States, which Miller was a victim of. Although there may be differences between “The Crucible” and McCarthyism, ultimately the anger, lack of evidence, and the people were alike in both events.