Mccarthyism vs Witch Trials

Topics: Salem witch trials, Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism Pages: 3 (1062 words) Published: March 18, 2011
McCarthyism vs Witch Trials

Does history repeat itself? Back in 1692, a couple of teenage girls decided to have a little fun with witchcraft. That little game turned into a “death play” with thousands of lives being taken away by simply having someone point a finger and say one’s name. Likewise in the early 1950s, we saw a similar type of witchcraft happen because of the fear of communism. Hundreds of lives and careers were ruined because people were naming names to save themselves. Numerous types of things took place during these ruthless eras, but I’ll only write about three of them specifically; mass hysteria, theocracy, and figure of authority. During the witch trials, mass hysteria spread so quickly that everyone’s life was turned around in just a couple of hours. A person’s life was in the hands of crazy teenagers who kept accusing a new person of witchcraft everyday, and the accused one had to name someone else if one wanted to live. If “named,” a person had two choices; confess, name others, and ruin lives, or not confess and be hung. People panicked, lived secretive lives, and were afraid of their neighbors and friends. Similarly, in McCarthyism, the fear of communism and being named one made people act stupidly. An example is when Henry, a character from the movie, named his own wife as being a communist. He saved himself by ruining his wife’s life. As a result, his wife couldn’t get a job anywhere, had her kid taken away, and so she ended her life by driving off a cliff. It’s amazing what some people would do to save themselves. Theocracy isn’t a government anyone would like to be ruled under. Unfortunately, theocracy was the only existing government during the witch trials. This wasn’t true for the McCarthy era, but those in charge of questioning the accused did so under the theocracy rule. McCarthy himself is an example. He said what needed to be said and did not give a chance to others to express themselves. Even though it was...
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