0032: period 5
18 March, 2015
The Similarities Between The Crucible and The Red Scare
Accusing someone of false accusations is easy. Seeing that someone face consequences for those accusations is difficult and often unheard of. In the case of Arthur Miller’s
Crucible the false accusations made by the girls were carried out causing the victim’s lives to end with a rope around their neck and nothing more than air beneath their feet. A similar connection is found between Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the people associated with the Red
Scare. The term “McCarthyism " came from the Senator Joseph R. McCarthy who made false accusations while he was in office. The Senator accused people of being communists which ruined lives and heightened cynical beliefs. Although it’s evident that the accused communists didn’t hang the connection between McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials still remains by fortified anger, the possession of fear and the cynical actions of people which took place during these two historical events.
Although its possible to see that citizens of salem didn’t act on anger but more so selfishness, for instance, Mary Warren sacuming to the pressure of Abigail to stick with the lie rather than telling the truth in order save her herself (Miller). There are far more instances to prove anger was the main driving force behind these two events which in result, is one way the two are similar. Anger was very prevalent among the people of this time. For example, in the
Salem Witch Trials, Abigail’s anger towards Elizabeth Proctor is fueled from the dismissal of
abigail’s services to the Proctor family along with abigail unable to be with John. This anger then transpires in Abigail indicating Elizabeth is practicing witchcraft along with disseminating with the devil (Miller). On the other hand, Joseph McCarthy shows his anger when innocent people are denounced as being communists. The result of expressing the right of freedom of speech was an instant label containing the title communist on it. The reasoning behind this label was none existent except for the accuser possessing anger for you (
"Connections to The Crucible.")
. The anger during this time was so prevalent that it lead to complete societal chaos consuming a large part of the population in both events.
Even though the argument can be made about
The Crucible and the Red Scare don’t relate due to fear not being present during McCarthyism, the similarities of fear between the two outweighs the differences. A base for that argument could be the citizens of Salem have fear of dieing and the people under McCarthyism don’t because they don’t have to hang for their crimes
Fear supplied The Salem Witch because no individual wanted to be persecuted or killed. Abigail started creating fear amongst all the townspeople by accusing people of being witches and/or communicating with the devil. Any activity done in the daily lives of Salem citizens were done with fear in the back of their heads due to the thought of them possibly getting accused (Miller). McCarthyism was fueled by the fear of nuclear war with the Soviets.
America had communists sneaking in from the Soviet Union as spies to gain intelligence. The
U.S. and the Soviet Union were on the verge of a nuclear war, therefore McCarthy planted fear in everyone because knowledge of what a communist was, was unclear to people (
to The Crucible.")
. Fear intertwines these two events with a substantial presence.
As some would state cynical thoughts of the citizens of both events would be a considerable reason for why the two events aren’t similar or even that cynical actions don’t take place in
The Crucible and only during the Red