Hysteria, Reputation And Power In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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The Town of Salem during 1692 was in an uproar over Witchcraft. Many people were accused of Witchcraft resulting in many court trials and hangings. Accusations were made with hate and jealousy rather than actual evidence of Witchcraft. Arthur Miller’s play written in 1953 called The Crucible focuses on this event. The author intends for the themes of hysteria, reputation and power showcased in the play to reflect upon current events in 1953. Throughout 1692, a mass hysteria was sweeping through Salem. This hysteria focuses on Witchcraft, a practice considered taboo due to the religious ideals held during the time period. In the Crucible, multiple people are accused of Witchcraft. Mary Warren having just returned from the courthouse reveals, …show more content…
The U.S. government passed the “Smith Act“ which targeted communists by making it illegal to advocate for the overthrow of the government or be in a group related to the advocacy. Senator Joseph McCarthy also claimed that Communists were able to infiltrate the U.S. state department setting off paranoia and accusations not too different to that of ones in Miller’s play. In reaction to McCarthy’s claims people alienated many accused communist supporters from society. These supposed supporters were hurt economically and socially; they lost their jobs and were also ridiculed by many. Miller’s “The Crucible” was written as an allegory, reflecting the mass hysteria formed from the Red Scare. Since he criticized the government, he was confronted by the House of Un-American Actions and convicted in 1956 for not revealing the names of people in meetings he had attended. This event parallels with Tituba’s confession scene, Miller would try to plead the right to remain silent however would be charged with contempt of congress. Before writing the Crucible, Miller was commissioned to write a play about union corruption. Upon reviewing the script, Henry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, reported Miller to the F.B.I. and asked that the gangsters be changed to Communists. This particular act would be considered unthinkable before the Red Scare. Many parallels are able to be noticed between Miller’s play The Crucible and his real-life interactions. Arthur Miller relates his experiences and the events of the Red Scare to a relatable event in history, the Salem Witch Trials. It is too clear that the play is obviously meant to symbolize the Communist frenzy during the

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