The Crucible - what is there about the society of Salem, which allows the girls stories to be believed?
The edge of the wilderness was close by. The American continent stretched endlessly west, and it was full of mystery for them. It stood dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time.
The Crucible was written in the 1950s by Arthur Miller (married to Marilyn Monroe in 1956) during the time America was suspicious of the spread and influence of communism plus 'Un-American' activities.
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, some English trading companies started to send settlers to N. America. At about 1630, about 1,000 Puritans settled around Massachusetts Bay, in the area now known as New England. Salem was developed five miles away from the coast. Living in Salem where the Puritans. Although officially part of the Church of England, the 1630 Puritans were closer in belief and practice to Presbyterian Calvinism (another Christian sect.).
They also believed that every soul was predestined to go to Heaven or Hell. They were extremely strict in their ways and beliefs. They were deeply suspicious of religious sects other than their own - In Act 1. Parris says, "What, are Quakers? We are not Quakers here, Mr. Proctor. And you may tell that to your followers!" This shows that Puritans did not like to be mistaken for other groups. This also shows they're suspicious and bigoted which was the reason why they left England in the first place.
In relation to McCarthyism, the Americans would relate the first extract on this page ("It stood dark and threatening") to the threat of Communism to the American way of life. Also in the extract notes parishioners who have...