Arthur Miller's Are You Now Or Were You Ever: Red Scare and Salem

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In Arthur Miller’s article, “Are You Now Or Were You Ever?,” Miller identifies many similarities between the issues during the “Red Scare” and the events in Salem. One similarity that really stands out is Miller’s point that, “Both had the menace of concealed plots, but most startling were the similarities in the rituals of defense, the investigative routines: 300 years apart, both prosecutions alleged membership of a secret, disloyal group.” Miller’s points are very accurate and perfectly depict life for those in 1692 and the 1950’s. The “Red Scare” and Salem are dreadfully alike because of their similar processes. Salem in 1692 was a place of hysteria. People were accused of being witches. The people who were accused did nothing to bring on the accusations. People were accused strictly based on what others claimed to see, hear, and feel. Those accused in Salem were not respected, trusted, or treated fairly. People were accused of sending their specters upon others. In the court spectral evidence was used and believed to be reliable. At the time all accused were considered guilty until proven innocent. They could not stand up for themselves and fight their accusers. Once accused there were two options. One was to admit to witchcraft then turn around and accuse others. The second option was to be hanged for those who would not admit. Many were hanged in Salem. The “Red Scare” was similar to the events in Salem. Those accused during the 1950’s did nothing wrong. A group of people, known as the “Hollywood Ten,” was accused of wrongdoing and there were no real reasons for the accusations. Many others were blacklisted because they would not give up names of people they believed were guilty of communistic acts. Those who were blacklisted could not find work and were frowned upon in the community. The lack of evidence, proof, and reason is parallel to the events in Salem. In the end few were actually killed during the “Red Scare”, but like Salem there were executions....
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