Books and Movies Reviews

The Crucible and McCarthyism

Arthur Miller's play The Crucible exploits the mass hysteria taken place during the Salem witch trials – the mass hysteria that caused people to turn against one another, making false claims of associating with the Devil,killing innocent babies, and practicing witchcraft.However, that isn't the only theme portrayed in the book.The plot of the Salem witch trials is also linked to McCarthyism.

The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in the spring of 1692.One year before, a witch in the nearby town of Beverly was executed and the same chaos had spread to the village of Salem.Being drawn into each rumor spread, retold, and added onto, the townspeople didn't know who was to blame – the girls, the slave, or the wicked works of the Devil.Hysteria set in, and everyone in the town began to protect themselves from the people who had once been their close friends.The legal system, the church, and the togetherness of the community had completely deteriorated.Not only the hysteria and confusion each person experienced, but also the community's structure contributed to the executions.Since Salem was a Puritan community, very little was tolerated.Religion played an enormous factor in their lives.In fact, they were dominated their beliefs.Anybody who wasn't within good standing of the church wasn't even allowed in the community.Therefore, when they spotted what they believed to be a witch, they would execute them, as the Bible instructed them.Once a person was accused of being a witch, the only way to survive was turning back to God by repenting and revealing names of other witches in the community.Now, fast-forward to a few centuries later, where a similar scenario took place, and where in some aspects, history repeated itself."On February 9, 1950, a senator by the name of Joseph Raymond McCarthy had charged 205 people in the U.S. State Department of being membe…

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