The Crucible as a Political Allegory Essay

1767 WordsApr 25, 20148 Pages
The Crucible, by Author Miller, is hard to be depicted as an allegory. However, when read between the lines, one can find linkage to political events in the contemporary society, and the allegory can be easily related to the time in history that the author experienced. In this essay, I will discuss how Author Miller uses his play to criticize contemporary political incidents. The Salem Witch Trial can be seen as a representation of McCarthyism, and the play links to America in the 1940 and 1950’s, where instances of communism and “Red Scare” are present. Miller criticized those contemporary instances by representing them in the play as characters and events. “Name calling” by the characters who in reality took the empowerment for their own benefit or desires are used as criticism for the society in fear of Communism. Insecurities of the officials who are in fear that they might have made wrongful accusations, but continued their falsehood to retain authority, and accused ones that act against their authority are a criticism of the leaders at the time. Moreover, by facilitating the idea of “guilt by association”, Miller shows how people are accused without evidences, and are forced to testify so they can save their own lives. Before the House Committee of the Un-American Activities are formed, names of “Un-American”, or communists are called (1). However, many accusations are based on personal desires. In the play, Miller criticizes this behavior by describing Parris’s ambition, Abigail’s affairs, and Putnam’s greed. During the play, Parris tries to accuse Proctor of being unfaithful, because Proctor is against his theology. When Proctor challenges Parris’ authority in Act I, Parris says: “There’s a party in this church, I am not blind, there’s a faction and a party.” (Miller, 30) And Proctor argues: “Then I must find it and join it. “ (Miller, 31)

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