In the 1950s, tensions ran high between America and its one-time ally, and fear of the Communists was widespread. Joseph McCarthy, a little known senator from Wisconsin, exploited the fears of the masses in an attempt to gain a popularity and a good reputation. He declared that not only did loyal Americans face the Communist threat overseas, but that America itself harbored Soviet sympathizers and closet “Commies” by the hundreds. McCarthy spearheaded an effort to rid the country of Communism in a mass movement called the Red Scare. During the Scare, thousands of innocent citizens were accused of holding Communist sympathies, accusations which had little or no evidence to support them.
Body Paragraph #1 A. Topic sentence : Arthur Miller’s development of Fear in The Crucible is parallel to the fear that was experienced in the 1950’s. B. CD #1: Abigail accuses Tituba of being a witch and to prevent herseld from being hanged, Tituba confesses that she was doing witchcraft (Miller 45-49). C. CM #1.A. : Being accused of being witch in Salem, Massachusetts was alarming because even if one was innocent, they are still held guilty D. CM #1.B: One could infer that the morals of society dictated that a person wasn’t “Innocent until proven guilty” but rather they were “guilty until proven innocent.” E. CD #2: “ [ In Hollywood] blacklists were quickly circulated of
The Red Witch Hunts: McCarthyism and Anti-Communists activities in Postwar America Cody Green APUSH Per. 2 Mr. Zuckerman 14 March 2011 The Red Witch Hunt Between the late 1940’s and the late 1950’s, America was living in a constant state of fear of communists influence in government institutions, espionage by soviet agents and international communism as a whole. Contributing to the suspicions and overall sense of fear shared by much of the nation was a new and upcoming senator named Joseph McCarthy whose anti-communists pursuits and unsubstantiated attacks on citizens suspected of being communists or of being communists supporters created the term coined for similar efforts. One of the most prominent examples of accusations that would be considered “McCarthyistic” throughout American history would be the Salem witch Trials. The Salem witch trials were a series of court hearings conducted in the New England colonies, more specifically colonial Massachusetts, to prosecute individuals with what was once a capital felony, of witchcraft.
Throughout the years, witchcraft has been the common fear of mankind. In England, the legal definition of a witch was “a person who hath a conference with the devil to consult with him or to do some act”. In early modern Europe, women were thought to be witches due to their biblical association with the devil, the superstitions and misunderstanding of the people of Europe, and the negative perceptions of those who deviated from the social norm. As a result, these beliefs and superstitions led to the death of thousands of alleged witches. (Witch Hunts) Witches were thought to be consults of the devil who gave up their bodies and led others away from the church for the devil in exchange for otherworldly power.
Macbeth, set in the Elizabethan era, caused mixed feelings to spring forth in the audience. During this era people were full of superstition. In Macbeth the witches and their prophecies are seen as supernatural and this enhances the audience’s fear thereof. Macbeth went to see the witches on different occasions and each time he returned with more information and more confusion. I believe that some of the members of the audience saw the magical influence of the witches that overtook Macbeth and some saw it as his own flaws.
Historically witchcraft has been thought of as violent horrible things. They tortured and killed many innocent people, although the exact opposite is what happened at the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Nineteen women and five men were hung on Salem’s gallows hill. They were all accused witches, who were all also innocent. How did the witch-hunt in 1692 begin, and why there?
Hysteria in Salem In 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, the superstition of witches existed in a society of strong Christian beliefs. Anybody who acted out of the ordinary was accused of being a witch and the accused would actually be forgiven if they blamed their accusations on another individual. In this play, a group of young girls is accused of being witches. These girls then blame other people in order to get out of trouble and even pretend to be "bewitched" in front of the court during a trial. This leads into the deaths of the innocent people who are accused and automatically found guilty.
Nine-year old Elizabeth Parris and eleven years old Abigail Williams started having fits, strange behaviors and would scream with anger. A doctor looked at the girls and decided that the only explanation was spells caused by witchcraft. Despite the fact today we know it wasn’t logically true, but the town had a strong belief of the devil. Hysteria and chaos took over the town, soon enough when girls all over town decided to take part in it, and began accusing the townspeople without a reason. This is one reason why this is the worst thing that happened to America.
Our theme is mass hysteria and conformity. Mass hysteria is when panic strikes a majority of the population. In Salem the mass hysteria was about witches and the devil being among them. The accusations that Abigail and her friends made of people being witches sparked the mass hysteria and witch trials. Conformity is following what everyone else is doing.
The Communist Hunt and the Salem Witch Trials are alike in that they were both started out of fear and prejudice. Our own societies could even be related to this play. Many have said we could connect these issues with today's fear of terrorism, where many people are blamed of something because of their racial heritage. All things considered, dystopian and utopian concepts are relative to your particular views. In my mind, accusing people of witchcraft because you don't like them would cause the community to become very unfavourable and I'd possibly even go as far as to consider it a dystopian