The Crucible and McCarthyism Paralleled

1 January 2018

Miller paralleled McCarthy by writing about the events and ways of thinking that prompted the outbreaks, the immediate reactions Of the people, the reasons why the leaders Of both vents started the chaos, and even the evidence the courts used against the accused people in his play. The New England Puritans had always been a very strict society with minimal enjoyment and pleasures. In The Crucible the girls who become the main providers of the spectral evidence were originally going to get punished for dancing in the forest.When questioning Abigail, Reverend Paris says to Abigail he cannot denounce the rumor of witchcraft when he saw the girls “dancing like heathen,” but Abigail says that she is willing to be punished with a whipping (Miller 9). This parallels McCarthy with the fear of anything related to communism. After World War II and during the Cold War, Americans were on edge and outright terrified about anything related-directly or indirectly-to Communism.

This even stretched to dog breeds; the German Shepherd’s popularity declined after World War II because of anti;German sentiments and was even temporarily renamed to the “Alsatian Wolf Dog” (Animal Planet). Both in America during the 1 sass-ass and in 1692, towns were filled with people on edge and people who were cared of what tomorrow would bring, from an accusation of being a witch to a USSR attack. It seemed that Communism was starting to take over the world with the Iron Curtain taking territory and democracy falling which raised fear in Americas their well being and that of their government’s (Brinkley).There were also witchcraft trials in Europe from 1480 to 1 750 where 40,000 to 60,000 people were executed–more than a thousand times more than the Salem Witch Trials–but in America there were not many witchcraft accusations before the Salem Witch Trials (Brinkley). Similarly, before the itch hunts of the sass-ass there was not much bad talk about communism and there was even a Communist Party USA that played a prominent role in the US labor movement from the 1 sass-ass (Socialism ASSAI).On both situations panic was raised to monumental heights that led to extreme situations and was the result Of one person’s influence. The Salem Witch Trials were “conjured by a mixture of fear, ambition, frustration, jealousy, and perverted pride” that ended with men and women hanged (Miller vii).

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It all started with Abigail Williams accusing her black servant of conjuring the dead n the forest to cover up that she and a few of her friends were cursing the wife of the man she had an affair with (Miller 40); Abigail was just trying to cover up her own UN-Puritan tracks.Also because of this affair, the wife that was cheated on had been, “blackening {Abigail name] in the village” which was the other reason Abigail was cursing her to death in the forest (Miller 22). The Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy gave a speech in February of 1950 that “dropped a bombshell” by saying, “The State Department is infested with Communists” and that he had a list of over a hundred members of the Communist party who were state employees (Roberts). McCarthy had just been “voted by the capital press corps as the worst Senator in Washington,” but was able to raise fear of Communists in America (Roberts).McCarthy accusations led a “few hundred people to prison and two…

To the electric McCarthy was able to fuel fear already present because of the wars, just as Abigail was able to spark fear of witches in the Puritan society with her accusations. Blood was shed in both scenarios and after the just settled, both “leaders” faded into obscurity; Abigail disappeared and Was found as a prostitute in Boston and McCarthy was censured by the Senate (one of the few senators to ever be disposed of in this fashion) and died at age 48 as a result of hepatitis (most likely from alcoholism (Wisped).During the Salem Witch Trials, Abigail was the able to strike fear into everyone by even getting the people to “part like the sea for Israel” when she walks through the courtroom and is seen as a “saint” in the eyes of the village (Miller 50). The evidence Abigail used was physical harm that she inflicted on herself, such as stabbing herself with a needle to accuse Goody Proctor of sending spirits on her (Miller 70), and most of all spectral evidence which was declared not acceptable by law shortly before the Witch Trials were shut down (Davidson and Eyelet).During the 1 sass-ass, “many Americans were inclined to believe the worst, even without evidence” and McCarthy used this to his advantage by saying that there were non hundred and five state department employees who were members of the communist party thought there was ally only fifty seven alleged communists in office (Roberts). McCarthy ‘found mostly flimsy evidence” (Roberts) that was the equivalence to spectral evidence in the sass. Later, people declared McCarthy a “serious violations of due process” as did people after the Witch Trials (Checkers).

Some courageous critics called McCarthy investigations and accusations a “fraud” and a “hoax” (Grim), but some of them, like Arthur Miller, were even accused of Communism (Roberts). Like Abigail, “McCarthy was stoking fear and smearing anyone in his path,” accusing everyone who crossed him of communism. People who tried calling out Abigail for her false accusations were accused Of witchcraft and she even openly threatened Judge Detonator when he tried asking her if all of the girls actions in the court were fake or not (Miller 100).Some critics say the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthy were not paralleled using examples such as The Crucible spanning about four months and the McCarthy investigations that lasted for a decade. Though the period of time in which both events happened differentiated, there are still more parallels between McCarthy and the Salem Witch Trials than differences. Another difference is that there were some, though not many, Communists found with the investigations by McCarthy including “Nuclear scientist].Robert Oppenheim,” but it was more often than not that the people being accused were innocent like the Salem Witch Trials (Gigs).

Miller was able to parallel McCarthy by writing about the events and ways of thinking that prompted the outbreaks, the immediate reactions of the people, the reasons why the leaders of both events started the chaos, and even the evidence the courts used against the accused people in his play.

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