‘The Crucible’ as an Allegory of the American Communist Witch Hunt

The Crucible

Question ( 1 )

How is the drama an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt of the 1950s?

The Crucible was written in 1953, during the McCarthy epoch when there were widespread accusals of Americans being Communists without sing any grounds that proves the accusal otherwise. Set in 1692, playwright Arthur Miller efforts to utilize the Salem enchantress tests, which happened 261 old ages ago, to allegorize the Second Red Scare where Senator Joseph McCarthy successfully promoted fright of a prospective rise of communism by get downing a campaign. ( Theoharis, 2007 ) An fable in this instance refers to a drama in which characters and events are used to symbolize a deeper significance. ( Collins Dictionary, n.d. ) The Crucible testifies the mass craze nowadays during the communist enchantress Hunt, criticises the unfairness of the tribunal in prosecuting guiltless suspects who may non hold been involved in communist Acts of the Apostless, and denounces the question and use of suspects who were believed to be a Communist in the 1950s.

First of wholly, The Crucible is an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt of the 1950s as it testifies the mass craze nowadays during the communist enchantress Hunt. Hysteria is an unmanageable moving ridge and effusion of fright. ( Merriam-Webster Online, n.d. ) This can be seen in Abigail’s lines, “Let you mind, Mr. Danforth. Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may non turn your marbless? Beware of it! There is—suddenly, from an accusative attitude, her face turns, looking into the air above-it is genuinely frightened.” ( Miller, 87 ) Abigail had pointed out that Mary was directing her spirit towards them, ensuing in the misss get downing to shout and shout. The full tribunal hence broke into fright. Abigail foremost pretended to see a spirit and cried out in fright, and the other tribunal attendants, upon seeing this, caught the “infectious” emotion. This hence led to the formation of a hysterical ambiance as everyone feared that they might be accused of practising witchery, since all it takes is merely one accusal to reprobate one’s destiny. Hence the people started impeaching one another without any grounds to forestall themselves from being accused. This is similar to what happened during the American Communist Witch Hunt of the fiftiess. Senator Joseph McCarthy had fuelled a monolithic fright of communism within the United States through agencies such as propaganda and fact-finding tactics. ( Taylor, 2005 ) Finally Joseph McCarthy started the enchantress Hunt and accused people of being Communists without any grounds. Peoples even got despairing and accused their ain neighbors since they do non desire to be accused of being communist themselves. ( Lewis, 2002 ) This resulted in widespread paranoia and craze amongst people. Hence, both the enchantress tests in The Crucible and the American Communist Witch Hunt involved accusative guiltless people without any concrete grounds as backup, and in the thick of such accusals, an ambiance of craze was created as people were wrongfully arraigned and anyone could confront the hazard of being prosecuted, ensuing in widespread fright and the community being lacerate apart. Therefore The Crucible can be seen as an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt in the 1950s as the societal clime mirrors that of the McCarthy epoch.

Next, The Crucible is an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt of the 1950s as it criticises the unfairness of the tribunal in prosecuting guiltless people who may non hold been involved in communist Acts of the Apostless. Injustice here refers to the deficiency of equity in judging a suspect. This can be seen through Danforth’s lines, “But witchery is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an unseeable offense, is it non? Therefore, who may perchance be witness to it? The enchantress and the victim. None other. Now we can non trust the enchantress will impeach herself ; granted? Therefore, we must trust upon her victims – and they do attest, the kids surely do attest. As for the enchantresss, none will deny that we are most eager for all their confessions.” ( Miller, 80 ) This suggests that in any test related to witchcraft, Danforth had assumed that there are victims, therefore contending the fact that the offense had taken topographic point. That hence defeats the intent of a tribunal test, as the chief aim of a test was to seek the truth, but by contending that the offense had existed, there was no point for a test as the accused was automatically deemed guilty without any grounds and the justice was in favor of the “victim” . Therefore this shows the unfairness of the tribunal as the jury refuses to see the available grounds which proves the wrongdoer inexperienced person, and wanted to be person who everyone would look up to by prosecuting the enchantresss believed to be harming the community. This is similar to what happened during the American Communist Witch Hunt of the fiftiess. During the Witch Hunt, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused guiltless victims. Even though there was sufficient back uping grounds to turn out that the victim was non involved in communist Acts of the Apostless, it was disregarded, ensuing in prosecution. An illustration would be Owen Lattimore, whom McCarthy accused of being a USSR undercover agent in the States. Such accusals finally escalated into Congressional hearings, and even though there was significant grounds to turn out him artlessness, charges were upheld, ensuing in Lattimore being dismissed as adviser of the State Department. ( History.com, n.d. ) Hence, both the enchantress tests in The Crucible and the American Communist Witch Hunt depicted the tribunals as corrupt, and they merely had an oculus for power and glorification. Both tribunals refused to listen to the accused and deemed the accused guilty without any consideration for grounds. Hence guiltless suspects, who were non involved in witchery in the instance of The Crucible, or communist Acts of the Apostless in the instance of the American Communist Witch Hunt, were still wrongfully prosecuted as Judgess were ambitious and wanted to turn out that witchery and communism were present severally. Therefore, The Crucible can be seen as an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt in the 1950s as the unfairness of the tribunal in prosecuting suspects mirrors that of the McCarthy epoch.

Last but non least, The Crucible is an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt of the 1950s as it denounces the question and use of people who were believed to be a Communist in the 1950s. In The Crucible, people suspected of witchery were interrogated harshly and manipulated such that finally they had to squeal. This can be seen in the conversation among Deputy Governor Danforth, Reverend Parris and Mary Warren, where Parris instructs Mary, “Aye, swoon. Prove to us how you pretended in the tribunal so many times” and Danforth follows up “Might it be that here we have no afflicting spirit loose, but in the tribunal there were some” . Finally Parris orders, “Then see no liquors now, and turn out to us that you can conk by your ain will, as you claim” . ( Miller, 86 ) This suggests that the governments, Parris and Danforth, are seeking to fall back to use to coerce Mary to squeal and acknowledge that she was guilty of perpetrating witchery. Thus governments were trying to interrogate suspects in a sly and fallacious manner such that they could coerce an guiltless individual to hold no pick but to squeal to forestall decease. This is similar to what happened during the American Communist Witch Hunt of the fiftiess. During the Witch Hunt, Senator Joseph McCarthy coerced suspects to squeal to being a Communist. In 1950, he said “I have here in my manus a list of 205…a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party” . ( Herman, 2000 ) McCarthy so held hearings in Washington to coerce suspects to squeal that they are a member of the Communist party. Suspects so had no pick but to make so. ( Trager and Dickerson, 1999 ) Hence, both the enchantress tests in The Crucible and the American Communist Witch Hunt involved manipulating and utilizing underarm agencies during questions to coerce suspects to squeal to offenses which they did non transport out. ( Canty, 2009 ) The governments in both The Crucible and the American Communist Witch Hunt were cunning in coercing guiltless suspects to squeal to a offense which they had non committed. Therefore, The Crucible can be seen as an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt in the 1950s as the governments forced guiltless parties to squeal to offenses which they had non committed, mirroring the state of affairs during the McCarthy epoch.

In a nutshell, The Crucible is an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt in the 1950s as it testifies the mass craze nowadays during the communist enchantress Hunt, criticises the unfairness of the tribunal in prosecuting guiltless suspects who may non hold been involved in communist Acts of the Apostless, and denounces the question and use of suspects who were believed to be a Communist in the fiftiess. As the scenes in The Crucible mirror that of the McCarthy epoch, we can hence conclude that The Crucible is so an fable of the American Communist Witch Hunt in the 1950s.

Word Count: 1491

Mentions:

Theoharis, Athan. The Politics of Scholarship: Liberals, Anti-Communism, and McCarthyism. University of Pennsylvania, May. 2007. Web. 2 March 2014.

“ Fable. ” The Merriam-Webster Online. Illinois: Merriam-Webster Incorporated. n.d. m-w.com. Web. 2 March 2014.

“ Hysteria.” Collins Dictionary. London: HarperCollins Publishers, n.d. collinsdictionary.com. Web. 2 March 2014.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. England: Heinemann, 1992. Print.

Taylor, Earl. The True Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy. National Center for Constitutional Studies, Nov. 2005. Web. 2 March 2014.

Lewis, Chris. McCarthyism in 1950s America. University of Colorado Boulder. Oct. 2002. Web. 2 March 2014.

History.com. McCarthy says Communists are in State Department. N.d. Web. 2 March 2014.

History.com. McCarthy charges that Owen Lattimore is a Soviet undercover agent. N.d. Web. 2 March 2014.

Herman, Arthur. Joseph McCarthy: Reviewing the Life and Legacy of America ‘s Most Hated Senator. New York: Simon & A ; Schuster, 2000. Print.

Trager, Robert and Donna Dickerson. Freedom of Expression in the twenty-first Century. California: Sage Publications, 1999. Print.

Canty. The Communist Hunt and the Salem Witch Hunt. Jul. 2009. Web. 2 March 2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *