The Crucible and McCarthy Trials

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The Crucible, essentially an allegory, uses the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials to symbolize the 1950s anti-Communist purges (Bloom). Arthur Miller's Crucible wasfirst presented in New York on January 22, 1953, when Senator Joeseph McCarthy's House Committee on Un-American Activities was casting a pall over the arts in America (Masterplots).Senator Joseph McCarthy accused many American leaders of being communists, which lead to many unfounded accusations that others were also communists. McCarthy was, in effect, conducting "witch hunts" (Bellmore). If you opposed to the Salem Witch trials, you were accused of being a witch. If you opposed the McCarthy investigations, you were accused of being a communist. Those accused suffered great consequences in both the Crucible and the McCarthy trials. Miller's theme is the politics of fear and the persecution of dissidents.
The victims in the Crucible and the McCarthy trials have many similar aspects. The accused were not fairly tried and were convicted on limited evidence. During the witch trials the girls would point at someone they disliked, and accuse them of practicing witchcraft.It did not matter whether they were innocent or guilty, since they were accused, they would be convicted.People's lives were ruined because they refused to confess when someone claimed they had "seen" their name in the devils book.Others confessed and then accused others in order to save themselves, such as Abigail: "I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand." She began accusing others by saying: "I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (48).Goode Good and Goode Osborn in the Crucible were accused only because they were poor beggars and less fortunate.Others, such as John Proctor, Goode Nurse, Elizabeth Proctor, and Giles Corey were convicted because others were …