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Play: The Crucible, By Arthur Miller

1440 words - 6 pages

Buddha once said, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha states that the truth is one of the things that cannot be overlooked as the truth is eventually revealed, and the truth might end up having bad effects. Buddha’s quote is significantly true in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller which discusses the Joseph McCarthy era. Miller shows that McCarthy manipulated and abused his power and fame, leading to his downfall. In The Crucible, Miller uses parallelism between Judge Danforth and Joseph McCarthy to accentuate the horrific, unlawful, and untrustworthy complications that they brought to the United States in the 1690's and the 1950's.
As an act of portraying parallelism, Miller renders the characteristic of self-pride between Danforth and McCarthy. In the play, Miller reveals one of the multiple methods in which Danforth shows his pride. For instance, Danforth “is a grave man in his sixties, of some humor and sophistication that do not, however, interfere with an exact loyalty to his position and his cause” (79). This establishes an image that Danforth is not to be interfered with. Miller enables the reader to understand that Danforth is a sober gentleman when it comes to the court. Danforth’s method of defense against an unanswerable question is using the court as an excuse and turning the question around to get citizens arrested. Likewise, J. Ronald Oakley, author of The Great Fear, noted that McCarthy had a thirst for everlasting fame. McCarthy was once nicknamed “Pepsi Cola Kid” (200) and “Water Boy of the Real Estate Lobby” (200). After all the fame he received, he was still not satisfied. Finally, in an “extemporaneous speech” (200) he was able to get beneath the skins of the citizens and earned himself a high seat in the senate.
Another attempt Miller used to parallel Danforth and McCarthy was with the trait of being cold-hearted. In the play, Miller illustrates that Danforth did not mind “near to four hundred” (81) citizens sent to prison, and “seventy-two condemned to hang” (81) all on his signature. Sadly all of these “witches” are innocent, and they are being hanged and put into prison without physical evidence. Miller also shows Danforth being cold- hearted in the act of giving time to the prisoners to confess so that they will not be hanged. Danforth evens states, “while I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering” (119), which is very ironic since he is actually speaking in Devil’s law. Danforth states that he is a religion-based judge, but in reality he is a filthy self-centered judge whose only concern is to prosper in his job and obtain a higher position. Similarly, Oakley also illustrated that McCarthy was inhuman in the act of accusing innocent people of communism and causing their names to be placed on a blacklist, which got them fired from their jobs. During McCarthy’s first speech, he stated there was “a list of 205” (201) names that were accused of being in the...

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