The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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The Mccarthy era was a very drastic time during the 1950’s when ideas about communism disseminated throughout the United States, particularly the government. Author of The Crucible, Arthur Miller, was very critical of this time and used characters, plot events, setting and literary terms and features to convey his message. Miller creates an allegory by using Witchcraft as a controversial topic similar to how communism was during the McCarthy era, characters such as Danforth, Hathorne and Hale to compare to organizations and more characters such as Abigail and Procter to delineate specific people from The Great Fear. Miller’s disapproval of McCarthy was blatantly inscribed into the play through the use of the topic of witchcraft. In The Crucible the main topic was the Salem Witch Trials, similar to communism in The Great Fear. Miller chose this topic to show how ridiculous he believed the accusations McCarthy made were. The controversy surrounding witchcraft and communism are similar in that both had numerous opinions from people of all backgrounds. During the Salem Witch Trials belief in Witchcraft mostly collected in New England but still spread into the rest of the colonies and during the McCarthy era ideas about communism were not believed by everyone in fact most didn’t believe them. Miller crafted the play in 1953 for the spectators during the McCarthy era to find these similarities and relate to them. This solidified some onlookers disapproval of McCarthy and changed the minds of others. It was another layer added to the hysteria of the time and led to the investigation of Miller by the HUAC and his eventual blacklisting in 1957. These similarities made the Salem Witch Trials an easy event for Miller to use to depict the McC... ... middle of paper ... ...court act as if they were bewitched, she went from getting out of trouble to killing people by getting them hanged. Arthur Miller used many characters to portray real people or represent organizations from when he lived in the 1950’s. Miller uses similarities between Abigail and Procter and real people from the McCarthy era, relations with characters Danforth, Hathorne and Hale with organizations from the McCarthy era and the method of choosing a controversial topic similar to communism to show allegory. The strategies Miller used to craft this play included using literary terms and features, setting, plot events and characters to convey his overall criticism of the time period. The McCarthy era greatly contributed to Arthur Millers development of the plot of this play and the ability to connect with the audience and make them relate what they saw to their own lives.

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