Parallels between the Crucible and America in the 1950s

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Parallels between the Crucible and America in the 1950s
In these two particular time periods, there were a substantial amount of similarities. The most apparent one was that everyone lived in fear; scared that they would be prosecuted based on accusations, whether they were factual or not, and the personnel in both scenarios made the situations as serious as they were. One key element to both the Salem Witch Trials and America in the 1950s was the punishment for refusing to confess, and the reward for confessing and accusing others. This continued the cycle of fear throughout the townspeople. This is evident when Hale is interrogating Tituba about her tie to the Devil and witchcraft. She says, “No, no, don’t hang Tituba! I tell him I don’t desire to work for him” (page 44). She continues on to name Sarah Good and Goody Osborne as witches, continuing the hysteria and hunt for witches. When John Proctor refuses to confess about the others that have practiced witchcraft, he is sentenced to hanging. On pages 243-258, we see that Proctor would rather remain truthful and keep his good name, along with his friend’s good names intact, than loose his pride and live. He says, “They think to go like saints. I like not to spoil their names… I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another. Crying out, with hatred I have no tongue for it.” This is a parallel to the author of the play, Arthur Miller, who says, in ‘Are You Now or Were You Ever’, that he was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to identify authors that he had met at one of the two communists writing meetings he had attended many years ago. He also says that the people in America were being summoned by the Committee to be called a bad name, one that could ruin their career (‘Timebends’, A Life, page 331), which was something that was so important to protect in Salem in the 1800s. As well as living in fear, another parallel between the Salem Witch Trials would be the character’s similar personality

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