Arthur Miller and Mccarthyism

313 Words2 Pages
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible retells tragic events in American history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials of the Seventeenth century. However, Miller did not intend to write The Crucible as a straight historical play detailing the witch hunts of Salem. Rather, the story contains as much significance as a product of the post-World War II era during which Miller wrote the play. Indeed, the crucible is a parable for the McCarthy era, in which similar “witch hunts” occurred targeting citizens as communist rather than Satan worshipers. The Second World War established an anticommunist environment that negatively impacted the lives of innocent Americans. After China fell under a communist regime, the United States began to perceive its own communist party as a threat. In 1947, the Truman Administration barred hundreds of people from government jobs due to connections to the communist party. Among the politicians and celebrities were the “Hollywood Ten,” who refused to testify in court and thus were sentenced to prison for a year. Those who did not go to jail were instead blacklisted, making it impossible for them to find work in years. Among the blacklist members was Arthur Miller, who decided to publish The Crucible as a political argument against McCarthyism. Arthur Miller relates to the Salem witch Trials to their contemporary same in his time, the McCarthy hearings. After years of suffering persecution, the Puritans of Salem developed a determined community revolved strictly around the word of God. Ironically, the Puritans persecuted their own. Miller’s paradox implies that “in order to keep [a society] together, [the puritans] must tea it apart.” Because their religion led them to believe they were the chosen people of God, they also believed their unethical actions were being justified. This strongly relates to the political climate of the early 1950’s in which
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