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The Red Witch Scare

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“There was four. There was four,” were the words that Tituba said before accusing numerous women of witchcraft and dealing with the devil; numerous innocent women. “I have here in my hand a list of 205, a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department,” were Senators McCarthy’s words before he accused hundreds of innocent and few not so innocent government employees of being communist spies. The Crucible written in the early 1950’s during the reign of Senator Joseph McCarthy reflects strongly the anti-communist movement occurring at the time, spearheaded by Joseph McCarthy. Events and characters in Millers play reveal the dramatic, anxious, and hysterical actions and allegations that came with The Red Scare. A parallel between McCarthys world and The Crucible is how the people reacted to the thoughts of witches or communists infiltrating their societies and how that resulted in hysteria throughout towns. In Salem confessing and giving up others “witches” was a way to get out of your noose, but was also a way to augment the rumors of witches in Salem. Tituba was forgiven because she confessed to dealing with the devil and for giving up Goody Osborne and Sarah Good. Then Goody Osborne and Sarah Good were known to be witches, proving witches had come onto Salem, and seeding doubts of others innocence and purity. Many others in the town gave false confessions and countless names when convicted, this was seen as a way to evade punishment, the majority of the confessions being lies only to escape a noose. As with the alleged witches of Salem, suspected Communists were encouraged to confess an... ... middle of paper ... ...n as truth in court, giving the court evidence to accuse Mary Warren as a witch as well. Not only were there events that displayed McCarthy in The Crucible, but also specific characters. The prime example is Sarah Bishop who had once before been accused of witchcraft in another town, and had a permanently scarred reputation because of the prior accusation. This made her an easy target for the town, a woman whose reputation already has witch on it, who won’t admit to witchcraft and that no one will vouch for.It was easier to believe that this womna got onvolves in witchery if she had been suspect of it before. McCarthys Sarah Bishop is a couple who went to the electric chair. The Rosenbergs had been under suspicion of selling nuclear secrets to the Russians the year before, making people believe this couple had been caught selling secrets again was an easy task.
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