Essay on The Witch Trials And The Mccarthy Era

1443 Words Aug 15th, 2015 6 Pages
The witch trials of Salem is an infamous period of hysteria and paranoia, in which people chose fear over rationality. While many of the accusations were absurd, many are still victims of hysterical accusations, which occurs even today. The play, The Crucible, takes place in Salem, during the 1600 's, as the town is engulfed in the hysteria of witch hunts, which forces the audience to acknowledge the tendencies humans display, in similar situations. Arthur Miller uses his play, The Crucible, to criticize society, during the McCarthy era, of its irrational behaviour, by creating parallels of vengeful tendencies, hysteria and hypocrisy, both present in his society and within the play. The Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era is sometimes referred to as "the time of general-revenge", as people accused others for selfish purposes and out of vengeance. Mass hysteria overwhelms the common populace resulting in accusations and persecutions. However, while both eras had figures that claim they did it for the common good, in reality they were hypocrites that lead these "witch-hunts" for their own benefit. While the Salem witch hunts and the era of McCarthyism are centuries apart, both were the result of people acting in their own self-interest and in vengeance. Abigail could be seen as the parallel for McCarthy, whom both started the blind fervor of accusations for their exploitations. Her intentions were made clear in the book when she accuses Elizabeth and threatens to…

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