The Crucible Mccarthyism Essay

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  • Topic: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, McCarthyism
  • Pages : 2 (619 words )
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  • Published : November 11, 2011
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The Crucible McCarthyism Essay

Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953, as his take upon a series of radical trials in a time known as McCarthyism. Following World War II, while United States military forces left, Russian soldiers stayed in Europe. Many broken countries were “adopted” into a Union with Soviet Russia and the spread of communism was alarming to politically opposed America. In 1950, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy made a significant speech in which he spoke out against communism in which he had named over 200 individuals whom seemed loyal to the Communist Party. After noticing Americans were beginning to become frightened of an outbreak of communism in the United States, McCarthy was made chairman of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate, which gave him the opportunity to investigate the possibility of government infiltration of Soviet ideals.

The New York-born playwright saw a parallel with the McCarthy trials and the Salem Witch Trials. Despite a 260 year gap, the actions and manners taken in both incidents were corresponding to a point of “exact similarity.” For the period of extreme sensitivity to the point of censorship, Miller has to state his opinion without saying a word of it himself. The absurdity of the actions and event that unfolded in the pages of the four-act play creates the same understanding in the audience: all those trials are recursive, pointless, and only malicious.

Within the play, the cry of “Witch!” was seemingly enough to bring people into trial. Evidence was limited to an initial accusation (after all, if you weren’t, why won’t someone say you were?) and some testimonies that rang of gossip more than sworn word. But the similarity to be focused upon here is not the trail (not quite yet) but of the escalation of the indictments. Abigail started the cry of dark magic after seeing that she was being threatened of her person. To protect herself, Abigail accused the black slave (a foreigner for...
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