crucible vs mycarthy

Essay by banjo799High School, 10th gradeA, November 2014

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Benjamin Maugeri 11/2/14

"The Crucible" written by Arthur Miller is a historical fiction play about the famed Salem witch trials. One of the bases for writing the play was to parody the McCarthy era where witch hunting for communists was widespread; in fact Miller was actually one of the people questioned by the McCarthy committee. The historical content of The Crucible has its own relevance in today's society. I believe that Arthur Miller's life and his experience of McCarthyism strongly influenced the writing of The Crucible.

The Crucible takes two of the worst moments in American history and uses them to demonstrate the pressure on people from society to conform. This is evident when Miller takes the Salem Witch trials and uses it as an attack to reflect on the McCarthyism period. Moreover, Miller was able to see the similarities between the McCarthy era and the actions of the Puritans in Salem by using religion as a sort of substitute for politics.

Each event was just as cruel and merciless as the other. Furthermore, even though the Salem Witch trials had occurred over 200 3 years before The Crucible was written, it was so strong and vivid that it mirrored the McCarthy era where the spirit of persecution was reawakened. Just as McCarthy considered everything anti-American to be communist, the Puritans in The Crucible thought everything unexplainable to be the work of the devil, and in both cases, the authorities demanded conformity.

Likewise, in The Crucible, people were put on trial and killed when they did something that was beyond logic and unexplainable. I think part of how Miller put this across does not depend whether or not it is a human right to resist conformity but on how there was much distinction and bias prevalent among the supposed...