Parallels Between The Crucible and McCarthy Era

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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.

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