Arthur Miller's 'Rdquo In The Crucible'

941 Words4 Pages
Adam Erskine ENG 143 Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is written during a period of momentous social and political discontent in the United States. The Cold War signified a clash of powers which both condemned the other to be evil; the communists, for instance, marked the capitalists and all of their conspirators as evil by means of depriving the whole of the freedoms of economy through exploitation; the capitalists denounced the communists as evil by means of depriving everyone freedom to participate in an open economy. Both sides, however, had striking similarities in how they conducted their searches for what both believed to be traitors to humanity. Both conducted a series of “witch hunts”, the product of which…show more content…
Two passages highlight tremendous fault in judgment pertaining to witch hunting, both of which I will explain and reflect upon throughout this essay. During the first act, upon Mr. Hale’s entry, Miller exposes the connections between communism vs. capitalism and good vs. evil. As Mr. Hale holds that “the devil is a wily one” (Miller, 35) and must be stopped, there were many in both the United States and communist Russia who condemned the opposite party of espionage in an effort to undermine what they believed to be “good” in the battle of “good” vs. “evil”. Russia, for example, during the years of Stalin’s reign, held military tribunals for those accused of conspiring with the capitalists. The average duration of these trials was three minutes (class notes, POL 334) and, most always, the tribunal…show more content…
Reverend Parris, still in shock that his daughter would be stricken by the devil, wonders why the devil would choose a preacher’s home as his place for invasion. In response, Hale says the following; “What victory would the devil have to win a soul already bad? It is the best the devil wants, and who is better than the minister?” (Miller, 41). Americans had much to fear in regard to communism; restrictions of free speech, deprivation of private property, restrictions of free press, and the presence of false judicial systems, just to name a few. With this in mind, the common attitude in the United States was, as it continues to be today, that communism is evil manifest in a government. For this evil to manifest itself in a government that is supposedly of, for, and by the people, created a fear that the devil, or evil in general, had found its way into people in the United States. And, similar to Hale’s ideas in The Crucible, who better for this evil to envelope than those in the government? Those who govern the United States are supposed to be trusted to uphold the values for which this country stands. The evil, the communists, would have nothing to profit from infiltrating those who wielded no power. And since common sense tells us that in compromising between good and evil, only evil can profit,

More about Arthur Miller's 'Rdquo In The Crucible'

Open Document