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The Crucible Essay

996 words - 4 pages

Anthony 11/3/13
The Crucible as an Allegory English 101

In 1953, American playwright Arthur Miller produced a play titled, The Crucible. It takes place in 17th century Salem, a small town in colonial Massachusetts. The play focuses on the actual events known as the Salem Witch Trials, in which dozens of people in and around the town of Salem were wrongfully and chaotically accused of witchcraft, Satanism, and devil worship by a group of teenage girls. It is firmly ...view middle of the document...

..”. This quote signifies that the accusations taking place were really getting out of hand, creating unneeded anarchy in the process. Similarly, in Cold War America, the situation also became quite out of hand; the republican congressman Joseph McCarthy played the same role as Abigail Williams, accusing people of something they haven’t done with no evidence whatsoever other than his own word. Guiltless American politicians and people were accused of being affiliated with communism. Obviously some really were communists, but none accused were actually guilty of anything at all, other than exercising their right to believe in whatever they wish. And so, just as innocent citizens of Salem were suspected to be witches, American citizens in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and beyond were suspected to be communists. Dissimilarly when accused without confessing in Salem, being hung was the result but during the Red Scare being blacklisted by the US government was the outcome and while no one was killed physically these poor souls were dead in every other way. They were shunned by society and left to rot as if they were wild animals. Why would Abigail and McCarthy commit such immorality? Selfishness is the answer as both sought more attention. Abigail harbored jealousy for Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of her former sweetheart and intended to eliminate her by framing her for witchery. The essayist Ronald Oakley wrote in one of his essays “The Great Fear”, “…it could become the salvation of his fading political career. ‘That’s it,’ he told his companions. ‘The government is full of Communists. We can hammer away at them’”. This quote represents how McCarthy utilized accusing people of communism for self-gain, in reality he had no factual proof on any of his claims, as not did Abigail. In both situations, false accusations were present, chaos ensued, and anyone who spoke out against the majority was ignored or not taken seriously; this includes the Tydings Committee in the McCarthy era (which was ignored when it determined McCarthy’s accusations were false) and John Proctor, who speaks out...

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