The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism were definitely both great examples of how histeria and paranoia can affect a population. People were terrified for their lives and the lives of other people that were important to them. As soon as something happened that startled the churches or McCarthy and his workers they stepped in. They started questioning innocent
The injustice of the Salem Witch Trials remains in American history forever. The terrible incidents of the trials played out because of personal insecurites, jealousies and teenage boredom. As the event took course and grew to an epedemic, the Town of Salem was uprooted and taken by storm. Through harassment, men and women of Salem were in driven into the witchcraft craze of 1692. The absence of a fair and honest trial for the prosecuted in the small Protestant town is thought to be approached in a different manner today.
“And I look - and there was Goody Good... Aye sir, and Goody Osburn” (p. 49). At first, the social outcasts were accused, then respected characters such as Elizabeth Procter and Rebecca Nurse are accused as a result of the town's mass hysteria. And so this mass hysteria is created, only by young girls, but it has spiraled into a black hole consuming everyone in the town of Salem, regardless of their social
In the United States, there were worries of Communism infiltrating the government; however, in the Salem community, there were worries of witchcraft being practiced in the town. Secondly, McCarthyism was used within both communities since, in the 1950’s, the United States were on the edge for Communism and accusing citizens without any proof; moreover, in Salem, the townspeople were very alert for any sign of witchcraft, which led to following any accusation that were said, even if there wasn’t any proof. After World War 2 ended in September 2nd, 1945, the United States were scared that Communism was supported by their citizens, even by people in the United States government. Arthur Miller describes the United States’ paranoia as that, “it [fear]” has “always” been “with us, “this anxiety, sometimes directed toward foreigners”
A History of Persecution For millennium humans have been afraid of the unknown and what they do not understand. This fear has led to violence and the perpetration of unspeakable actions in the name of eradicating that fear. During the 1940’s and 50’s the United States was suffering under the fear of communist sabotage and were turning to McCarthyism to root out the traitors. Playwright Arthur Miller saw the unfairness and mad persecutions that were sweeping the nation and satired it all in his play The Crucible which is a retelling of the Salem Witch Trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. Miller used the play to represent injustices that were going on at the time such as accusations that had no substantial evidence, an unfair assumption that the accused was guilty until proven innocent, and the tendency of Senator McCarthy to retaliate against any criticism against him an accusation of being a communist sympathizer.
Grudges and Rivalries, we all have them, but some people take it too far and do something about it! The crucible takes place in Salem Massachusetts during the raw winter. It was 1692 when the puritan belief was dominant. They believed that God was the answer for everything and if you did not believe that, you were shunned from the community. The whole story is about a group of girls who were telling lies and accusing people of witchcraft.
In the Crucible, Abigail is tormented by the fact that she had been caught out having an affair with John Proctor. This creates conflict between John’s wife Elizabeth and Abigail. Abigail is devastated that she cannot be with John and lashes out in fury and creates chaos in the heart of the town with her false accusations within Salem. Abigail’s uncontrollable acts rise which result in the hanging of many people, ultimately destroying the love of her life. She was blinded by her own problems in life that she couldn’t see her ways, although to John, Abigail was transparent.
Throughout Miller’s novel The Crucible, religion is heavily criticized and the institution of it in Salem. Criticism is displayed when Abigail reveals her hatred for Salem and the key values the town lived by: “I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men” (I. 22). Abigail criticized the way religion was taught and the context of religion in Salem. Miller argues that Salem’s teachings to the people amongst one another was wrong doing with the fact that few people such as Abigail saw them as too drastic or immorally wrong.
Parris was paranoid to the point where he believed that “he was being persecuted wherever he went.” This paranoia resulted in his eagerness to encourage the witch-trials in an effort to preserve his esteemed position. After his daughter is accused of witchcraft, Parris’s anxiety over losing his position of power is aggravated. He fears being guilty by association, and refuses to accept it, because the people of Salem “will howl [him] out of Salem for such corruption in [his] house.” When Abigail suggests another witch may be responsible for Betty’s condition, he is eager to support her and seizes the opportunity to protect his position. Salem had been founded forty years before the witch trials took place. At the time of its establishment, little was known about the surrounding areas, and a theocratic government was created in an attempt to unify and protect the people of Salem.