As stated in a 1952 New York Times article, “if we lose our freedom in the effort to guard our security, then security is useless” (Oakes 5). The United States of America is a country with a history of always protecting its citizens’ rights and liberties, but it also contains a past where other matters interferred. There are many contributing factors that can alter a person’s perspective on a particular idea such as religious views, or fear. In 1692, Puritan Salem, Massachusetts believed there were witches within the town after girls in the town confessed they had been victims of witchcraft. A few centuries thereafter in the 1950’s, the United States had just retreated from World War II and feared the rise of communism in the country when Senator Joseph McCarthy declared to know names of 204 alleged communists. Hysteria within Arthur Miller’s The Crucible creates a parallel between the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism by showing how “evils” within communities caused people to turn against innocent who one would never expect to be blamed. Through these states of madness individuals are gullible to believe any sort of accusation or confession and many condemned others in spite of benefiting themselves.
Within The Crucible and McCarthyism, those who were not expected to be culpable would be considered guilty of witchcraft or communism. During these times, there was “numerous unfounded accusations...made against people from all walks of life” (“Arthur” 2). One was blamed for any particular reason that they would stand out. Throughout The Crucible there are characters who are accused of practicing witchcraft with little evidence. The town people and court easily believe Abigail Williams along with othe...
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...ong with this, hysteria within the two make people easy to believe what others claim, and give others the opportunity to be able to benefit from getting vengeance. Both of these instances show a certain violation of civil rights and liberties of citizens and it shows the terrifying results that can come from some something as little as a bad scare. What one is left to do is be able to look at the full picture in some instances before beginning to make a stance on a particular person during an unclear event. Having an open mind is an important feature to have in cases like the Red Scare or the witch-hunts, because one may never believe that they will be in a situation as either, but with imperfect and at times immoral ways of humanity, there is the likelihood of one finding themselves in a jail cell or even with a rope tied around their neck after a false accusation.
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