When Hysteria Takes over : the Crucible

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When Hysteria takes over : The Crucible In the years around 1952 about 109 investigations were carried out by the Government against US citizens because of the fear of communism. One of those investigations was against Arthur Miller, the author of the play ‘The Crucible’ which reflects the behavior of the society and the actions of the government in this time period. The tragedy ‘The Crucible’ was premiered in 1953 in the Martin Beck Theatre (New York City). It tells the story of the Salem witch trails which occurred in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. Arthur Miller wrote this play to emulate the more emotional than rational, childlike behavior of the US Government in it’s actions against the Red Scare. The play begins with Reverand Parris, the minister of Salem, who is wandering through the forrest when he discovers teenage girls dancing around a fireplace. When his daughter, Betty Parris, is obscurely sick the next day he concludes that the devil has his hand on Salem meaning that witches infiltrated Salem. He calls Mr. Hale, a famous expert in witch hunting, who should sort things out. With his arrival hysteria spreads like a disease through Salem. The problem with this hysteria is the fact that people like Abigail Williams, a smart pubescent girl, are taking advantage of the situation to benefit and gain power. In the following I will analyze how hysteria completely displaces logic and how examples from the real world can be compared to what is happening in The Crucible. The fear of what was unknown or un certain created an uneasiness within Salem’s population that added to Salem’s social demise. The circumstances surrounding the witch trials gave residents something on which to blame any seemingly supernatural event.Martha Corey along with Tituba, a homeless woman, was indicted solely because

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