The Crucible Analysis

2050 Words9 Pages
Jessica Ramirez
Mrs. Whalen
Honors English III
27 September 2012
The Horror Beneath the Truth “In 1692 nineteen men and women and two dogs were convicted and hanged for witchcraft in a small village in eastern Massachusetts” (Miller, vii). This quote signifies the insanity behind events occurring during the seventeenth century in Salem, openly recognized as The Salem Witch Trials. Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, is a play written to express and acknowledge what happened during the Salem Witch Trials and the truth behind the citizens convicted of witchcraft. The Crucible was written to compare events of the Salem Witch Trials to the events occurring during the Cold War in which thoughts were summarized into one belief known as McCarthyism. McCarthyism beliefs were established by Senator McCarthy in which he stated that citizens found suspicious of being a communist or having any kind of association with the Communist Party deserved to be punished (Firy). Arthur Miller was once found guilty of taking part in Communist actions. Much like one of the characters in his play, he confessed to an uncommitted crime, yet refused to inculpate others. Much like the Salem Witch Trials, Miller noticed the injustice lingering upon the Communist Trials. The portrayal of his thoughts and opinions are reflected through The Crucible and its characters (Understanding the Crucible). Events occurring during The Salem Witch Trials can be compared to McCarthyism in similar occurrences such as the effects of paranoia on civilizations, the mistreatment of others due to false accusations, the struggle between power and reputation, and the constant repetition of history. To begin with, the effect of paranoia on civilizations is overall the main cause for tragedies in history. Furthermore, the mass hysteria portrayed throughout the story began much earlier than what the reader is given.

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