This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Arthur Miller's The Crucible: An Attack On Mc Carthyism?

776 words - 4 pages

In 1692, a group of girls living in Salem Massachusetts fell ill. Suffering from seizures and hallucinations, in extremely religious Puritan New England, the only cause seemed to be the work of the devil or his servants. The sickness ignited fears of witchcraft, and it was only a matter of time until not only the girls, but many other residents of Salem, started accusing other villagers of conspiring with the devil, and casting dark magic. By the August of 1962, nineteen people were executed by the Massachusetts government and judicial system, who were heavily influenced by religion. This series of events later became known as The Salem Witch Trials. In early 1950 Arthur Miller, who became a national sensation with Death of a Salesman, composed The Crucible, which draws directly from the witch-hunt of 1692. Running parallel to this was the rise of Senator McCarthy whose venomous anti-Communist views and accusations pushed the United States into a theatrical and sensitive anti-red state during the first edgy years of the Cold War.
At the time of The Crucible ‘s first performance, 1953, many observed it as a direct attack on McCarthyism, the policy of sniffing out Communists similar to the way the “witches” of 1692 were discovered. The favorite targets on McCarthy’s radar were writers and entertainers. Through highly controversial, evidence-lacking investigations, intended to root out Communist sympathizers in the United States, suspected parties were told that if they wanted to escape punishment, they would have to confess and identify other Communist sympathizers. This structure lead to an overflow of accusations, heightening the hysteria, and the black listing of three hundred and twenty promising careers . There are many situational similarities between The Crucible and McCarthyism, but there are problems with interpreting it as a strict allegory for the time. It is best to read The Crucible not as a textbook allegory for anti-Communism, or as a faithful account of the witch trials of 1692, but as a depiction of how prejudice and hysteria can infest and tear a community apart, outside of it’s historical context.
It has often been pointed out that The Crucible mirrors many aspects of McCarthy trials. In 1950 McCarthy made his famous “Wheeling Speech, “I have, here in my...

Find Another Essay On Arthur Miller's The Crucible: An Attack on McCarthyism?

Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay

664 words - 3 pages Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a tragic story of injustice suffered by an innocent community who are subjected to the hypocritical, prideful judges of their trial. These Judges use their power to eliminate evidence of their mistakes and return their community to puritanical ways. The leaders of Salem are not concerned with seeking the truth and justice, but with maintaining their authority and

Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay

989 words - 4 pages Crucible EssayThe fall of Salem's social structure precipitated the murders of many innocent people. Arthur Miller's depiction of the Salem witch trials, The Crucible, deals with a community that starts out looking like it is tightly knit and church loving. It turns out that once the girls are caught dancing in the woods, and a plethora of accusations are made. Hysteria and hidden agendas break down the social structure and then everyone must

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

2379 words - 10 pages Arthur Miller's The Crucible Arthur Miller demonstrates the familiarities of the life he lived in the 1950's and of everyday life we live in through his plays. He communicates through his work to the way people are in society. The extreme witch hysteria deteriorated the rational and emotional stability of its citizens. This exploited the population's weakest qualities, and insecurities. The obvious breakdown in social order led to

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

694 words - 3 pages As one can see, in Acts I and II of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", all characters have a dark side, replete with moral weaknesses. These personal faults are manifested in the character's actions and in the intricacies of his inner conflict. John Proctor is a man with many moral weaknesses, the first of which are revealed to the reader in Act I. His most glaring moral fault is his having committed an act of adultery with young

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

2220 words - 9 pages Arthur Miller's The Crucible During "The Crucible" Proctor is easily cast as a villain and other characters clearly see this side of him. This is evident when Abigail shows her attraction for Proctor and her flirtatiousness is obvious to the audience as she talks to Proctor, she moves closer to Proctor and the stage directions suggest that there is a "Faint smile" Upon Proctor's face, this smile widens as

Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

623 words - 2 pages Describe Abigail Williams' character in relation to her conduct in the woods, her attitude towards the girls and Parris, her comments about Elizabeth Proctor, her conversation with John Proctor, and her accusiations at the end.Responce: Abigail is a character with many facets to her personality, as do all the characters in Authur Miller's The Crucible. Her selfiishness, immaturity, and tendancy to spin yarns are all important traits. The traits

The Crucible by Arthur Miller and McCarthyism

2072 words - 8 pages (2010): 1-22. Academic Search Premier. Infohio. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. Friedman, Andrea. “The Stranger Career of Annie Lee Moss: Rethinking Race, Gender, and McCarthyism.” Journal of American History 94.2 (2007): 445-468. Academic Search Premier. Infohio. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin, 1982. Print. Nilsen, Helge Norman. “From Honors at Dawn to Death of a Salesman: Marxism and the Early Days of Arthur Miller.” English

Social Criticism in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1203 words - 5 pages Social Criticism in Arthur Miller's The Crucible The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, is a chronological narrative including a large cast of characters with a constantly moving setting.* The Crucible is a dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and an allegory of the McCarthyism period. Throughout the play, Miller explores the destruction of freedom by the ignorant and tyrannical society in which his characters live.* By

Human Flaws in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

962 words - 4 pages Human Flaws in Arthur Miller's The Crucible Many of the characters in Arthur Miller's The Crucible have specific human flaws that cause the tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem villagers exhibit failings, including greed, vengeance, and fear, which eventually lead to the downfall of their town. Many villagers, especially Abigail Williams, take advantage of the opportunity to seek vengeance on others through the trials. Greed for

Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

2137 words - 9 pages Abigail in Arthur Miller's The Crucible "The Crucible" is a play based upon the events that occurred in Salem circa 1690s. The witch trials were not just in America, but occurred in Europe too. Arthur Miller wrote this play, and also wrote the screenplay for the movie based on his play script. This has been produced in theatres countless times, as it is so dramatic, and appeals to audiences. We are introduced to the character of

Arthur Miller's Purpose for Writing The Crucible

895 words - 4 pages Parallels between Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, and his article Why I wrote the Crucible, can easily support Miller’s reasons for writing this classic play. Miller’s purpose in writing both the play and the article was to emphasize the similarities between the 1692 witch hunt and the 1950’s Red Scare. Miller simply wanted to convey the message of fear over reason, express himself in a new language of old English, to warn of mass hysteria

Similar Essays

Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay 1647 Words

1647 words - 7 pages Arthur Miller's The Crucible In The Crucible there are many different ways in which Arthur Miller captivates the interest of the audience. These include the reasons for which Arthur Miller wrote the play, and various themes within the play such as love, hate, lies, betrayal, lust and injustice. There is an interest in the nature of the community, the ways in which the law operated and the moral and reasoning behind the

Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay

1131 words - 5 pages Arthur Miller's The Crucible The Crucible is based on the 'Salem Witch Trials' in 1692. In act 1 the audience find out that John Procter had an affair with Abigail Williams, who was dancing in the woods, and that she still has feelings for him. When John denies their love Abigail starts accusing people of witchcraft. Act 2 is when we meet Elizabeth Procter who gets arrested on suspicion of witchcraft. In act 3 John goes to court

Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" Essay

3048 words - 12 pages Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written in 1952 by the twentieth century American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-.) Miller was born in New York and educated at the University of Michigan where he began to write plays. Most of Miller's plays are set in contemporary America and on the whole offer a realistic portrayal of life and society and the theme of self-realization is re-current e.g. John Proctor in 'The Crucible

Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay 859 Words

859 words - 3 pages Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was brought before a committee in 1956 to answer charges of 'communist sympathy' and to name the people he had had meetings with up to twenty years before. Liberal writer, film directors, actors and actresses were all called before the committee. The committee often had lists of names of people who had attended meetings yet they still forced