Essay about The Role of Fear Depicted in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

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The play “The Crucible” is an allegory for the McCarthyism hysteria that occurred in the late 1940’s to the late 1950’s. Arthur Miller’s play “the crucible” and the McCarthyism era demonstrates how fear can begin conflict. The term McCarthyism has come to mean “the practice of making accusations of disloyalty”, which is the basis of the Salem witch trials presented in Arthur Miller’s play. The fear that the trials generate leads to the internal and external conflicts that some of the characters are faced with, in the play. The town’s people fear the consequences of admitting their displeasure of the trials and the character of John Proctor faces the same external conflict, but also his own internal conflict. The trials begin due to Abigail …show more content…
The other girls join in and begin to blame other women in the town whom they dislike.

The townsfolk of Salem fuelled the conflict through their own fear. The society of Salem feared being called witches if they expressed their disagreement with the trials. This is similar to the McCarthyism hysteria were everyone feared being blacklisted and losing their livelihoods by being accused of having associations with communists or being a communist. As people began being accused of witchcraft because of old grudges or for acquisition of land (what Putnam was accused by Giles of doing), the towns people were afraid and very wary of each other. The only character to share their views was John Procter who was trying to free his wife. Procter and Rebecca Nurse among others, refused to admit their guilt, by confessing to witchcraft and therefore were hung as a result of this, as they did not want to lie by admitting and as John proctor put it “…pulling down heaven and raising up a whore”. This fear generated among the towns people lead to the conflict that many characters faced when coming up against society’s belief at the time that the devil was present in Salem.

The character of John Proctor’s internal conflict stems from his fear of ruining his good name. Initially Procter struggles with telling the truth, which he was told by Abigail, which is that, the girls, were only dancing and there was no witchcraft involved. There is also his guilt of his affair with Abigail

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