Witchcraft And Mccarthyism In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

Decent Essays
Witchcraft plagued America in the 1692, leaving many dead and in jails. The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a story about the Salem witch trials, written as a comparison to McCarthyism in the 1950 's. The Salem witch trials ended with 19 innocent people accused of witch craft dying. McCarthyism was a problem in the 1950 's where many people were accused of communism and treated unfairly because of these accusations. A connection between the two is the method in discovering witch craft and communists. In the Crucible, many people died because of the girls false accusations. Witchcraft and McCarthyism ruined many people 's lives because of false accusations.
Act 1 of the Crucible starts with Abigail Williams and other girls trying to conjure
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This is how the problem of witchcraft starts. Once the slave Tituba is accused of witchcraft by Abby, she must reveal other witches in the town. Tituba 's only choice is to confess or hang: " you will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba"( Miller 1119). Starting a cycle of revenge for everyone in town. If someone was not well liked in the village then he or she was accused of witchcraft. People that are the outcast of the village were the main targets. The girls continue this charade until the end if the book. Blaming multitudes of innocent people of witchcraft all for revenge. Abby is the leader of the group of girls and she uses her influence to convince the court that Elizabeth Procter is a witch. Although some of the girls try to be just and fair in the trials. For example, Mary Warren defends Goody Proctor at first: " somewhat mentioned. But I said I never see no sign you ever sent your spirit our to hurt no one, and seeing I do live so closely with you, they dismissed it" (Miller 1127). Abby does get her way by claiming that Elizabeth sent out her spirit to stick a needle in her, and that the court would find a poppet with a needle in it at her …show more content…
McCarthyism and the Salem witch trials were both built up by paranoia. The fear of communists and witches was a great threat. In the Salem witch trials, people 's paranoia destroyed lives. The thought of being a disciple of Satan in a theocracy was punishable by death or life in jail. This constant fear of being the next person accused of witch craft is greater than the witchcraft itself. McCarthyism was a dangerous threat too. Paranoid people were attempting to stop terrorism before the terrorists would attack. This led to mass paranoia, people would fear living near a communist. Another problem was association in both witch hunts. An example from the Crucible is when John Proctor is trying to save his wife. His past relationship and association with Abigail Williams may save Elizabeth Proctor 's life. Sadly she lied to save her husband and John was soon accused of witchcraft himself. Being the friend of a accused witch or communist questioned your character. In the 1950 's if one was accused of communism their friends would be investigated too. This was to evaluate their character and see if they were communists too. These associations and accusations would lead to mass paranoia in Salem and in the 1950

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