Arthur Miller's The Crucible In connection to McCarthyism

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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

History is a "chronological record of events." These events, whether positive or tragic, often repeat themselves. The McCarthy Hearings that took place in the 1950's are a good example of this. The accusations of communism led to a nation-wide hysteria and fear of who was going to be named next. When this was over, the hope would be that nothing like it would ever happen again and nothing like it had ever happened before. However, we have not only repeated it on various occasions, but through Arthur Miller's The Crucible, we also see the parallel of the event with the Salem Witch hunts that took place years before the hearings. The connection between The Crucible and the McCarthy Hearings is not an isolated one, but can also be made with other historical and current events that are happening today.

Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in response to The McCarthy Hearings. These two events can be connected in many ways; for example, people in each situation used hysteria for their own good. "Joseph McCarthy was a flagrant self-promoter" and extremely power-hungry. (Schrecker 242) He believed that by accusing people in high positions of having ties with communism that he would become a more respected figure. McCarthy's accusations were based upon little to no evidence and of the tens of thousands accused, only a handful was actually persecuted. (Fried) "Throughout the early 1950's, McCarthy continued to make accusations of communist infiltration of the U. S. government, though he failed to provide evidence... These charges received extensive media attention, making McCarthy the most famous political figure in the nation after President Harry Truman. He was also one of the most criticized." (Appleton History) McCarthy's claims were giving him his desired attention and praise. He was already at a respected level in the government, however he desired more. In October 1953, McCarthy began investigating



Cited: Appleton History. 21 Apr. 2003. 12 Dec. 2003 . Belfrage, Cedric. The American Inquisition: A Profile of the 'McCarthy Era '. New York: Thunder 's Mouth P, 1989. 183-275. Boyer, Paul, and Steven Nissenbaum. The 1692 Salem Witch Trials: . 1997. 10 Dec. 2003 . Fried, Albert. Learning Curve. The National Archives. 8 Dec. 2003 . Pinto, Jason. The Crucible Project. 2003. 6 Dec. 2003 . Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 1: Puritanism & Colonial Period: to 1700." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap1/chap1.html Sakurai, Gail. Japanese American Internment Camps. New York: Childrens P, 2002. 1-48. Schrecker, Ellen. Impact Of McCarthyism. 1995. 10 Dec. 2003 . Schrecker, Ellen. Many Are The Crimes: McCarthyism In America. Boston: Little, Brown, And Company, 1998. 1-550.

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