The Parallels Between the Salem Witch Trials and Mccarthyism Essay

In The Crucible by Arthur Miller. John Proctor proclaims “Because it is my name! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am non worth the dust on the pess of those who hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my psyche ; go forth me my name! ” This quotation mark shows both the quandary in the Salem Witch Trials. which Arthur Miller set his narrative in. and the epoch of McCarthyism which he sort of writes about ; John was traveling to squeal to being a enchantress but couldn’t because he didn’t want to destroy his name for his household. He was an guiltless adult male but died because he didn’t confess. This is really similar to what was go oning during the 50’s when McCarthyism foremost started. Arthur Miller’s usage of the Salem Witch Trials in the Crucible demonstrates an effectual comparing between the unfairnesss of the late 1600’s and those of his ain clip during the McCarthyism Era.

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In the instance of both the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism. the authorities that was in the lead at the clip was out of control and had excessively much power. With the Witch Trials. the Judgess. like Hathorne. had ultimate power ; they arrested anyone and everyone who was accused by another individual and everyone was so put on test. The Judgess all called tribunal whenever they wanted. One illustration of this is Giles Corey. Giles did non desire to give up the name of the individual who gave him his information. so Judge Danforth says “you are a foolish old adult male. Mr. Cheever. get down the record. The tribunal is now in session. ” But when seting Giles on test doesn’t interruption him into giving any names. they torture him by seting rocks upon his thorax yet still does non squeal or impeach anyone else despite his drape decease.

The same thing could be said about the United States Government during McCarthyism ; Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed he had a list of over two 100 people in the State Department that were Communists and who were known members of the American Communist party. This list that he was supposed to hold caused the American populace to terror. it created craze. Senator McCarthy caused a enchantress Hunt by making this ; he was impeaching people and look intoing them. He finally started impeaching the ground forces. at which point the President stepped in and recognizing that this motion needed to be stopped.

During both of these state of affairss. many people accused others merely to salvage themselves from being punished. Peoples during the Witch Trials accused people to maintain from being hanged. and people in the McCarthy Trials accused others to maintain intuition off of themselves. A clear illustration of this during the Witch Trials is Abigail Williams ; she accuses people of being enchantresss and being with the Satan so that she will non acquire in problem for dancing in the forests and making a love enchantment. Mary Warren besides accuses others because that is her lone manner out.

In peculiar. Mary feels forced to impeach John Proctor of being “the devil’s man” after antecedently stating the tribunal that she and the misss had been lying. If she doesn’t accuse John in that minute. she would be in problem with the tribunal either for lying before about seeing liquors or lying so. claiming she and the misss had non seen liquors. During the McCarthyism Trails people would besides impeach others so that they could throw any intuition off from themselves. Peoples who got arrested were placed in forepart of a Senate commission and asked to call other people guilty of being a Communist ; this caused terror and craze to interrupt out.

Additionally. in both of these epochs people were considered guilty until proved inexperienced person. The accusals that were made had no existent footing. but they were made for many different grounds: money. position/power. land. green-eyed monster. etc. In the instance of the crucible. Miller gives many great illustrations of this. one being when John Proctor asks Cheever “On what cogent evidence. what cogent evidence? ” when they take his married woman Elizabeth off ; people during that clip had no cogent evidence to endorse the accusals that were made. Accusations were frequently made to acquire the land of those who were traveling to be hanged for being a enchantress. During the drama. Giles says that Putnam accused Jacobs so that he could acquire his land. Giles gives Danforth a deposition and says “…There is none but Putnam with the coin to purchase so great a piece.

This adult male is killing his neighbours for their land. ” Another major mark is anyone who seems weak such as adult females. kids. and the homeless. As for McCarthyism. people were being targeted out of green-eyed monster. Hollywood. in peculiar. was a large mark for the tests. During this clip a imperativeness release went out on behalf of the major studios that announced the fire of some people and stated they would non use Communists. Many histrions in Hollywood were blacklisted and out of work. even though managers denied the fact that there was a black book. A major factor in this epoch was guilt by association. significance that people that were associated with or were close to one who was accused was so besides guilty and most likely to go the following victim.

Arthur Miller used the Salem Witch Trials in his drama the Crucible to exhibit the unfairnesss that were go oning during his clip period. the early 1950’s. on history of McCarthyism. The analogues that he drew between the Salem Witch tests and the McCarthyism Era showed that the Government had excessively much power that craze broke out because people were seeking to salvage themselves. and accusals were being made with no footing or cogent evidence to endorse them. Arthur Miller’s the Crucible was a perfect manner to expose what McCarthyism truly meant to society during that clip and its possible menace if American Society chooses to disregard its ain history.


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