Honors English 1
The Crucible Comparison Essay October 25th, 2010
The Crucible vs. McCarthyism
Fear, passion, jealousy, and paranoia have consumed America and its people for years, causing chaos and unbalance. The Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600’s and the Red Scare starting around 1950 are two examples of these four dynamics. Although both incidents occurred almost 260 years apart, they are directly associated because of the similarities in people, causes, and effects.
Giles Corey from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible can be compared to the “Hollywood Ten” from the 1950 Red Scare. In The Crucible, Giles Corey gets himself in a dilemma with the court after worrying about his wife, who was later thrown in jail under allegation of witchcraft, and then accusing Thomas Putnam of killing his neighbors for their land. In order for Giles to not endanger the informant who gave him this proof, he refuses to tell the court and in turn is crushed to death for remaining silent. Although this was a tragic death for a man of such integrity, Giles was willing to die honorably so that no one else would be put in harms way for lies and falsehoods that could potentially take away their lives as well. The “Hollywood Ten” were put in the same situation when being accused of communism and had also refused to ‘name names’. Each of them was regrettably thrown into prison for six to twelve months. They all agreed to use the First Amendment, the right to remain silent, to defend themselves. Despite this factor, the judges, officials, and The House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) ignored it and still had them face the consequences. The government was not justified for locking the “Hollywood Ten” up because by doing so, they were denied their God-given civil rights...