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The world at the present is always the inspiration of a work. This idea is manifested in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. He incorporates the political drama of the era into the play about the Salem Witch Trials. Therefore, The Crucible is a mirror image of the McCarthyism that occurred during the 1950s. This fact is reflected through the various connections in characters, themes. First, there are characters in the play which represent the actual people involved and affected by the McCarthy era. One such character is Abigail Williams, who represents Joseph McCarthy. She lies, manipulates her friends and the entire town, and accuses innocent people which leads to their deaths. The vindictive trait is present in McCarthy, who distorts evidence to "sacrifice the greater objective for the momentary effect" (184). Second, another character used to symbolize was Rebecca Nurse, who represented Lillian Hellman. Rebecca is a woman with upholding morals, which is evident when she refuses to confess the names of other "witches." She does not others to get caught in the web of lies just to save her. The same thought is existent in Lillian because she does not want to hurt the ones she knows just to save herself. She felt that it was "inhuman and indecent and dishonorable" (183). Therefore, due to the parallels occurring between characters, The Crucible is the reflection of McCarthyism. Second, hysteria is a common theme that is shared in both the play and in McCarthyism. McCarthy spread messages of anti- Communism which proved as the spark that propelled the United States into an anti- Communist fervor. He led investigations where people were encouraged to confess the names of Communist sympathizers to escape punishment. This resulted in a spree of accusations. The same hysteria occurred in Salem, as the colonists were either the accusers or the accused. In addition, there was a narrow-mindedness, excessive zeal and disregard for the individuals that characterize the...
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