9 September 2013
At first glance, the 1600’s and the 1950’s seem to have nothing in common. The Crucible written in the 50’s by Arthur Miller is set in the 1600’s in Salem when much binary oppositions were present. Rich against poor, powerful against powerless, and men against women are some examples. There was also the struggle to keep their social order the same. Arthur Miller portrays McCarthy’s motives as similar to those of the characters in the play and mirror the Salem witch trials to the McCarthy trials.
We can see this parallel in the Salem and McCarthy trials when both are started during times of trial and for selfish reasons or lead up to selfish outcomes. The Salem witch trials taking place after the puritans immigrating to America from England during times of trial with France. And the McCarthy trials taking place after the loss of Red China in 1949. This made it that much easier for McCarthy and Paris to control their community. The McCarthy trials were started as a way for McCarthy to secure his reelection and the Salem witch trials started as a way to cleanse the town, this evidently ended up in giving towns people the opportunity to take vengeance on each other. Likewise the McCarthy trials were started as a way to cleanse Washington of Communists. People had faith in them because they believed what they were doing was good work. In Salem it would rid the town of evil and in the McCarthy trials it would also rid them of evil through communism. This fear tactic McCarthy and people in the crucible used was very effective.
The crucible is set in a religion dominated society and this play at its core is about John Proctors struggle to change traditional puritan society. In Abigail’s case she wanted to keep things the same. But we also see this within different groups in puritan society. For example the powerful tried to keep things the same and the powerless tried to change things. And because of the way things are established Abigail acts out and is able to get away with accusing holy women of being witches without any reason. Proctor since the beginning of the play does not believe in witches but when he knows how Abigail is manipulating the system to convict his wife, he wants to change it. COREY:” He don’t believe in witches.” PROCTOR:” I never spoke on witches one way or the other. Will you come, Giles?” (Act 1) And Abigail isn’t the only one abusing the system so was Paris. Paris is an example of what people did in these