Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as a protest paper to the brutality of the Red Scare .The Red Scare was the inoperable fear of Communism within the United States. This scare was caused as a result of the Cold War in the 1950’s. During the Cold War the US was scared of an attack of the Soviets, and the Soviets were equally as scared of an attack upon them by us. Joseph McCarthy, a Senator from Wisconsin, saw this fear as an opportunity to rise to power. McCarthy had many supporters that were primarily Republicans, Catholics, Conservative Protestants, and Blue-collar workers. McCarthy ruthlessly utilized scare tactics to get people to believe and follow him blindly into his accusations as to innocent citizens supporting Communism and either having them jailed or killed by providing phony evidence. Arthur Miller was not intimidated by this he wrote the Crucible as “an act of desperation” (Miller). This desperation was to counteract the lack of speaking out about personal beliefs during the Red Scare for the fear of breaking the law. In The Crucible, Miller wrote about a character named John Proctor who is very similar to Miller himself. Both the author and the character had to overturn the same personal paralyzing guilt, not speaking out soon enough. Nonetheless, their eventual overcoming of this guilt leads them to becoming the most forthright voice against the madness around them.
Arthur Miller’s success first began with his Broadway play, All My Sons, in 1947. This award winning play “Struck a note that was to become familiar in Miller’s work: the need for moral responsibility in families and society”. (Anderson 1212) Later, his production Death of a Salesman left him the group of America’s top playwrights. Following on the theme of his writing it was in character for him to write about the Salem witch-hunts in 1692 called The Crucible. For Arthur, timing is everything. When he produced The Crucible in 1953, it was more than conscience that one would be able to find similarities between his play and the Red Scare that is going on during his time. The Crucible was very critical towards its parody of the Red Scare, it bashed the foundation of McCarthyism by emphasizing the falsities that it possesses. It promoted speaking out about personal views without fear of punishment. Because of the lateness of Arthur’s production during the 1950’s his biggest guilt was not producing it earlier to tell people to join together and speak out against McCarthyism. If he could have combated McCarthy early it was possible that he could have been overthrown and innocent people could have been saved from jail time and death sentences.
Despite Arthur’s unfortunate lateness to his production of The Crucible he was still able to become the forthright voice against the madness around him. It was a perfect opportunity because the US needed a phoenix to rise from the ashes and stake a claim against the unnecessary treatment of innocent people....