“Witches and Communists”
In the play The Crucible, Author Miller writes with deep ardor not only because of his interest in the Salem witch trials, but of his involvement and opinionated stance during the early 1950’s when McCarthyism was at its prime. Miller expresses many of his feelings towards McCarthyism and the witch hunts in his play and exposes many of their similarities. A few of the parallels of the witch hunts and the Red Scare include narrow-mindedness, excessive fear, and disregard for people’s lives
In 1692 the church and government only approved of actions promoting the Bible and God. The Puritans all followed the same guidelines and were extremely intolerant of anyone who differed from the majority, in their eyes it was one way or no way. When anyone in the community participated in an unusual activity they received a bad reputation, from which they never recovered. Martha Corey, in The Crucible, was considered abnormal because she had been married several times and she enjoyed reading, both of which lead to her death. During the McCarthy era, the government was exhausting all efforts to rid the U.S of communism and condemned anyone who had peculiar (aka un-American) beliefs. Many accused of communism during the time were members of the lower class, homosexuals, and people who held undesirable jobs. In both the witch trials and the Red Scare, the first people to be accused were the less fortunate and people who had unique personal beliefs.
During the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era fear was wide spread among the American people. In The Crucible, the accused were terrified of being ruled guilty in court and would confess in order to save themselves from death. Other members of the Salem community thought that witches were preying upon the town and, driven by excessive zeal to protect their families, supported the killing of innocent men and women. To avoid being accused some of the population...