Compare the Crucible to Mccarthyism.McCarthyism in The Crucible In The Crucible, composed by Arthur Miller, the insanity of the Salem witch trials is explored in terrific detail. There is more to the play than the witch trials, however. The Crucible was composed during a time when a comparable hysteria was sweeping through America. A practically unkown senator by the name of Joseph McCarthy was moved into infamy when while at a speaking engagement at thee Republican Women’s Club of Wheeling, West Virginia he charged 205 individuals in the U. S. State Department of being members of the Communist Party (Martine 8).
Worry triggered the American individuals to succumb to the preposterous charges brought forth by McCarthy showing similarity’s to that of the Salem neighborhood in 1692 (Carey 51). In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, there is proof of parallels in between the Salem of 1692 and America of the 1950’s, the American Federal government of the 1950’s and its abuse of power, and the high court portrayed in the play, utilizing its power to impose a misdirected ju! stice. The Crucible happens in Salem, Massachusetts in the spring of 1692 in a town shrouded with mayhem.
Individuals of Salem remained in uncertain times. Just a year earlier a witch in the close-by town of Beverly was executed and now the witch hysteria had actually spread to their town. Confused, the people didn’t know who to blame whether it be the girls, the negro slave, or even the Devil himself. The insanity that happened was an indicator of the worry of specific flexibility (Miller 6). In The Crucible, hysteria and prejudices break down the social structure and after that everybody must protect themselves from individuals that they believed were their good friends.
The church, the legal system, and the togetherness of the community died so that the women and their families social status might be secured. The fact that Salem was a Puritan community did not help matters either. Puritans were a rigorous religous group that endured no sneaky habits. Being isolated from any other group of individuals with various beliefs created a church led Puritan society that was not able to accept a great deal of modification. Anyone who was not in good standing with the church was not even allowed the community (Carey 42).
They believed God chose those who were to go to Paradise by the exact same token though they believed the Devil could pick his disciples likewise (Carey 43). Puritans deemed anything pleasurable was encouraged by and came straight from the Devil. When The Crucible was written, the American society was threatened by communism much like Salem was threatened by witchcraft (Bly 32). On September 23, 1949, President Truman reported that the Soviet Union had actually developed an atomic bomb striking fear into the American nation (Martine 8).
Miller even acknowledged this fear when he said, America had actually simply completed fighting World War II with the help of the Soviet Union against the Germans and now they felt threatened by them, knowing not wether they were still allies or if another war was inevitable. The war made individuals careful of communism. What Hitler had done was ugly. Americans feared this ugliness. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live (Exodus 22:18). The puritans of Salem absolutely believed in witches and gaurded versus them just as the Bible informed them so, executing them.
Once an individual was accused as a witch the only way to live was to turn back to God by repenting and exposing names of other witches so that they might repent or be beat (Bly 88). Judge Danforth was dedicated to the prosecution of witches. When he shows up in the town of Salem, Danforth sets in motion acts that produce a wicked destructive state of mayhem (Carey 15). He thought he acquired his authority directly from God, and therefore continued the witchhunt mercilessly (Bly 33).
He did not give up easily; as soon as he chose someone was a witch he would not rest until a confession was made as is evident in the following quote: Will you confesss yourself befouled with Hell, or do you keep that black allegiance yet? (Miller 111). Danforth might have had too much power also; being the Deputy Governor of Massachusetts, Danforth had the power to try, convict, and perform anyone he choose was a witch (Bly 27). When writting The Crucible, Arthur Miller chose to speak through John Proctor on of the Salem witch trials victims.
Miller utilizes Proctor as his character that defies the authority of the judges and their corrupt power (Carey 14). Miller likewise utilizes Proctor as his hero which critic James J. Martine recognized and recorded when he stated, John Proctor is brave not simply due to the fact that he blames himself, however since his story permit him to mention the evil in his environment, the opponent of male’s freedom, here the repressive structures of society that would take a guy’s name (79 ). At the first of the drama Proctor is not conccerned with the witch insanity or anything to do with the community.
One can see Proctor’s lack of interest in the neighborhood when Thomas putnam states: I never heard you stressed so on this society, Mr. Proctor. I do not think I saw you at Sabbath meeting considering that snow flew (Miller 27). Proctor changes though; when Proctor is accused of being a w! itch himself he getst interested. America, entering into the cold war, felt that the risk of Communism was real and with World War II simply ended and the worry of another possible war, Americans of the fifties did not desire individuals whose political ideology was so rash, violent, and disagreeable with their lifestyle (Carey 51).
Martine called them for what the were, and that was merely witches (9 ). Senator Joseph McCarthy was devoted to the prosecution of communists. McCarthy was ruthless in his examinations; anybody who opposed his hearings or perhaps slammed them was quickly safeguarding himself on the charges that he was a communist (Carey 51). McCarthy also had power; in September 1950, McCarthy was able to pass the McCarran International Security Act required that all members of the Communist celebration register with the Justice Department and all communist-front organizations expose their membership (Martine 9).
Arthur Miller himself was likewise prosecuted by the House Committee so that he may affirm on Un-American activities. Miller declined to name any names and was found in contempt of Congress. Miller mimics Proctor in this method of refusing to give up despite the fact that there would be consequences. In Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, a lots teenage women and a black servant lady were captured dancing in the forest and were implicated of being witches after two of them become ill. There was one girl in particular who was extremely shrewd; her name was Abigail.
Abigail is a sneaky woman which critic William Bly discusses in his quote: Abigail lies without pity, threatens without worry, and thinks nothing of sticking a needle two inches into her belly in order to produce the murder of Elizabeth Proctor (20 ). She, and she alone, led the town of Salem in killing 19 people, all implicated of witchcraft. Once the ladies are discovered, they start accusing people of being witches and Abigail begins with Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor’s wife. Not long after even one of the most decent females in Salem, Rebecca Nurse, was implicated of being a witch.
When court was called into session more allegations came; among the ladies, Mary Warren, out of fear of being hanged, confesses that! John Procor is the Devil’s male! (Miller 110). At the beginning of the drama, Reverend Parris comes across the ladies dancing naked and later he learns they were not just dancing however likewise consuming beauties and conjuring the dead. After this the women begin admitting and most people that were charged were charged simply on the testament of the women’ seeing them with the devil. Leonard moss understood his reality and discusses it in the following quote: The authority of the district attorneys has actually all of a sudden concerned rely on confession by those victims just recently condemned, so that continued defiance by an extremely concerned resident like John Proctor will treat the town’s fever (Moss 43). An overall of 19 individuals were hanged, 1 person was pushed to death, and 2 pet dogs were hanged for witchcraft during the Salem Witchcraft Trials (Carey 49). Judge Danforth sentecnced most including Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor for witchcraft and other immorality.
When Joseph McCarthy announced the contents of his blacklist in 1950 individuals began implicating others of being communist similar to in Salem 1692. This did not stop McCarthy though. In 1953, McCarthy led 157 more examinations specifically into the Voice of America and even the Army Signal Corps in New Jersey. These further examinations go on to parallel that of the judges of the Salem trials and their efforts to find anybody guilty that they possibly could. People such as previous U. S. Department of State authorities, Alger Hiss was implicated of being a communist spy.
The accusations by McCarthy were so powerful that President Truman himself decided to put in commitment boards to keep communist out of America (Miller 1). McCarthy did not have adequate proof to persuade an investigating committee, led by Senator Millard E. Tydings. His proof merely depended on others naming individuals that were communists simply as the proof of the Salem trials was merely the ladies calling names. The allegations and examinations spread rapidly and affected thousands of people. Librarians, college teachers, entertainers, journalists, clergy, and others came under suspicion.
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McCarthy did not have any evidence though and he eventually lost his support from the people. A couple of individuals hung around in jail and thousands were denied tasks, subscriptions, and other normalities since they had actually been implicated of being communist. It is not difficult to see why a catastrophe such as the Salem witch trials occured. As soon as one accusation was made, it was simple to launch all the buried suspicions and hatred into a wave of insanity. The judges of Salem were tricked and many individuals paid with their life. In the fifties a disaster much the same happened simply without the same outcome.
People in Salem who tried to weaken the court were implicated as witches themselves just as anybody in America in 1950 who opposed McCarthy’s trials were accused of being communist (Carey 52). America fell prey to the McCarthy hysteria in the beginning but then realized there was no evidence and put down the idiocy. The Salem witch trials and the McCarthy Investigations were so carefully associated that one can only question when or if it will occur once again. In both cases, a celebration ended up with excessive power than they need to have as Danforth and McCarthy do. Who is the beside be accused?