Why Ignorance Kills

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor Pages: 2 (489 words) Published: November 13, 2012
Haley Glick

Mr. Saxton

English III Honors

11 Oct 2012

Ignorance Kills

The Crucible and the Red Scare both show people fearing innocent things. In both The Crucible and the Red Scare people assume everyone is a witch. Though they have that in common, there are differences.

People were accused wrongly in both The Crucible and during the Red Scare. In The Crucible Mary Warren gave Abigail a poppet. Abigail used this puppet to accuse Goody Proctor of witch craft. As you can see in this quote from Cheever, “Tis hard proof! In the belly of the poppet the need is stuck!” (Miller). In the cartoon “We Now Have New and Important Evidence” it shows townspeople carrying a board saying Joe Zilch is a red (See Fig.1).


Fig 1- Block, Herb. “”We Now Have New and Important Evidence”” Cartoon. HerbBlock’s History Library of Congress. 13 Sept. 2012. Web 08 Oct. 2012.

The differences in the two are people would have been hanged in The Crucible and arrested during the Red Scare.

The ignorance of the people correlated with their interest in the witch hunt. In The Crucible John Proctor was educated in the witch hunt and knew it was hurting the town. This is shown when he says “God is dead.” (Miller). Ignorance is shown when Mary Warren says “I am an official of the court and it is weighty work we do, Mr. Proctor.” (Miller). A Red Scare example could be McCarthy’s impact on the US 1954 Gallup Poll data (Gallup). People made mindless executions due to a lack of knowledge.

The people in The Crucible and Red Scare had their freedom taken away due to fear. In The Crucible the girls who danced in the woods were accused of witch craft. They were doing nothing wrong but since everyone thought that was witch craft, they were accused. In the cartoon “Fire” from the Red Scare it shows a man terrified of fire (see Fig. 2)


Fig 2- Block, Herb. “”Fire!”” Cartoon. HerbBlock’s History Library of Congress....
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