The Crucible Trials

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Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is revered for accurately telling the story about the events which unfolded in Salem, Massachusetts during 1692. Demirkaya says that The Crucible “… opened at a time when the term witch-hunt was nearly synonymous in the public mind…” (125). The play was published in 1953 during the Red Scare, and as Susan C.W. Abbotson says in her book, Student Companion to Arthur Miller, “It tells the story behind the Salem witch trials of 1692, centering our attention on the effect of these trials had on the Proctor family, as well as making an analogous commentary on the actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the 1950s” (117). Arthur Miller was adamant that his critics know these events were not made …show more content…
Johnson also said that, “It is also true that a few Americans were already going to the extreme in opposing communism. (130). This was made apparent when, during the 1950’s, a United States senator from Wisconsin by the name of Joseph McCarthy also used his involvement in the House Un-American Activities Committee to strike fear into the hearts and minds of American citizens. The HUAC was tasked with the duty of investigating subversive acts and citizens who allegedly had communist ties. One must note that in Claudia and Vernon Johnson’s Understanding The Crucible, they say that “… membership in the Communist Party was a perfectly legal act at the time” …show more content…
Additionally, “Anyone standing up in the Salem of 1692 who denied that witches existed would have faced immediate arrest, the hardest interrogation and quite possibly the rope” (Johnson 40). These accusations often ended up in convictions. Claudia Johnson, in her book Justice in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, states that “Normally, these citations resulted in a routine Federal Court trial which wound up in half an hour with an inevitable conviction” (Johnson 38). Also, being subpoenaed to one of these hearings was incredibly expensive. Arthur Miller said himself that “This lecture cost me some $40,000 in lawyer’s fees, a year’s suspended sentence for Contempt of Congress” (Johnson 40). In addition to these fees people’s reputations would often be ruined after dealing with the

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