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Crucible vs. Mccarthyism Essay

… Crucible vs. McCarthyism

Fear over reason: Modern witch hunts depicted in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and in the House Un-American Activities Committee

No work of art can be subsumed under a single interpretation. However, Arthur Miller himself has stated that his play "The Crucible," set during the Puritan era in colonial New England was intended to be an explicit historical allegory, highlighting the parallels between the Salem witch trials and the era during which Miller wrote the play. Miller was a victim of the anti-communist hysteria of the early Cold War era. He was called by Senator Joseph McCarthy before the House Un-American Activities Committee. As a result of seeing himself, and other great writers and artists of the era being tainted with the public's…. [read more]


Crucible Is a Play Essay

… All the women in Salem conform to rigid roles for women: wife and mother is all there is. Women have a lowly social status, as they are perceived as witches and evil seductresses subverting the ideal religious purity.

Miller makes fun of the very notion of religious purity in The Crucible; religious rigidity becomes an example of the inflexibility inherent in conservative American society. Religion provides a blanket framework for Puritanical worldview. References to Jesus and the Bible are juxtaposed with those of witchcraft in a way that draws attention to the meaninglessness of all religion. For example, Abigail throws Sarah Good under the bus by crying out: "I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the…. [read more]


Crucible Questions 1. Perhaps the Most Shocking Thesis

… Crucible Questions
1. Perhaps the most shocking element of the play which is revealed in
the introduction is that which is revealed to the play's reader here for
the first time as the extraordinary young age of the girls. Acknowledging
them as being barely out of their puberty, this introduction helps to pave
the way for the cruel behavior perpetrated by such young aggressors.
A second shocking detail noted in the introduction relates to the fact
in the years after the witch trials, when the state of Massachusetts had
come to full acknowledge and provide reparations for what had occurred, it
did so with precious little remorse. Though it provided a small financial
sum to the compensation of the Proctors-with John Proctor already deceased
by…. [read more]


Crucible Is the Story of the House Research Proposal

… Crucible is the story of the House Un-American Activities Committee, as headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy, but filtered through the prism of Salem, Massachusetts. Playwright Arthur Miller uses the witchcraft trials held in Salem as a historical analogy to condemn the anti-communist hysteria that afflicted America during the 1950s. Over the course of the play, for various reasons, different characters use the opportunity provided by the trials and people's fears, to suit their own personal and political purposes. However, the system created by the mass hysteria eventually becomes so out-of-control that even the individuals who advanced the original accusations cannot contain the system's power. Abigail wanted to use her power as an accuser to secure her reputation in the community, marry John Proctor, and destroy…. [read more]


Crucible and Guilty by Suspicion Essay

… Like Rebecca Nurse, Dorothy Nolan is blindsided by the authorities, in her case, the House Un-American Activities. Unable to find any work and bereft of visitation rights to her own son, Dorothy spirals toward death. David Merrill remarks that Dorothy "was a good wife, a good mother," and that the House Un-American Activities was "responsible for her death." She was "falsely accused, she couldn't get work, her son was taken away from her -- all because of" the blacklisting community. By contrast, the hysteria in Miller's Salem brought the noose around the necks of the accused, while Winkler's committee imprisoned and blacklisted those who were deemed guilty. In any case, both occasion set forth ways to ruin the lives of otherwise innocent folk, who chose…. [read more]


Mccarthyism at a Speech in Wheeling Term Paper

… ¶ … McCARTHYISM

At a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia on February 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy made the following announcement: "The reason we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer... While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named as members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were known to the Secretary of State as being member of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and…. [read more]


Crucible: Questions Thesis

… ¶ … Crucible: Questions

According to the introduction, how did the state of Massachusetts attempt to apologize to the victims of the Salem witch hunts, how was one of those apologies somewhat ironic, and why, according to Bigsby, did the state take so long to atone for the situation in Salem, 1692?

"Perversely" as reparations were paid to the living relatives of the victims, individuals such as William Good received money, even though he was his wife's own accuser, as did a confessed witch Abigail Hobbs, who became a witness for the state and condemned others to death (Bigsby viii). Hobbes blamed "Evil Sprits" for her mendacity and compliance with the murderous social order when she apologized for her compliance (Bigsby viii). Bigsby suggests that…. [read more]


Crucible the Film Version Term Paper

… The other glaring difference between the historical events at the Salem village in 1692 and the film is its theme of sexual relationship between Abigail Williams, the niece of Reverend Parris, and John Proctor a Salem farmer. At the center of the movie's story is Abigail's accusation of witchcraft against John Proctor, who having committed adultery with his one-time servant in a moment of weakness, repents his mistake and rejects her. Such a liaison almost certainly did not occur as Proctor was over 60 years old and Abigail was only 11 at the time of the trial. Proctor's involvement in the witch trials and his eventual hanging occurred because of his indiscretion in openly denouncing the trials and the girls' accusations as a scam, rather…. [read more]


Individual Power in "The Crucible Thesis

… Individual Power in "The Crucible"

The Crucible is a 1953 by Arthur Miller that was written as a response to the political fascism of Senator Joseph McCarthy and what became known as McCarthyism during the early 1950s. The play is a dramatization of fictional events that took place in Massachusetts during 1692-3 that became known as the Salem witchcraft trials. There are many interpretations and depths of symbolism in the Crucible, but one seminal theme is that temporal authority has no real power over individuals who are able to reserve self-actualization and personal power for themselves.

Essentially, the Crucible deals with assumed occultism in a puritan community. It is about community suspicion, about a presumed expert (the Reverend John Hale) who is able to excise…. [read more]


Crucible 1692-1952 Term Paper

… Power and Control in the Crucible

The play The Crucible deals with complex themes of power, the abuse of power, and the situation for those people that are victims of a system where those ruling have an excess of power. It is the context of this environment based on power that the events of the play take place. To understand why people act as they do in the play, it is first necessary to understand the situation that people are in. This is made clear in the court scene where Proctor tries to argue the innocence of his wife. In this scene, it is made that the court has complete authority even regardless of the truth and that the people are completely powerless.

The situation…. [read more]


Liberty and Fear Essay

… Liberty and Fear

Anti-terrorist politics: A return to the Cold War mindset in a post-Soviet world 'It can't happen here.' For the many individuals who never witnessed the McCarthy hysteria of the 1950s, the idea that Americans could ever have been willing to sacrifice their freedoms of speech and assembly in the name of anti-communism seems both terrifying and ludicrous. Yet according to Al Gore's 2004 essay for the journal Social Research entitled "The politics of fear," that is precisely what Americans are doing today, regarding terrorism. Gore does not deny the horror that terrorism can generate, as was manifest during the attacks upon the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. But sacrificing one's personal freedoms in the name of counterterrorist efforts is both counterproductive…. [read more]


Refusing to Comply Authur Miller Term Paper

… Arthur Miller's Refusal To Testify

Being John Proctor in the Real World: Arthur Miller's Refusal to Testify for or against Communism

Everyday, significant events in people's lives have ways of projecting and morphing itself into art. Individuals express their thoughts and feelings about an issue or event in their lives through works of art, be these works in visual, oral, or written form. Literature has always been considered as the most descriptive and detailed medium of human expression. Whether in prose or poetry forms, the individual provides one or more facets of an issue, his/her interpretation of life personified through words and narratives.

Indeed, this had been Arthur Miller's motive when he created the play, "The Crucible" in the mid-20th century. "The Crucible" was Miller's…. [read more]


American Literature Influenced by Mccarthy Term Paper

… McCarthy Blacklists

The Influence of McCarthyism on Literature

The McCarthy era began following WWII. Senator Joseph McCarthy started a witch hunt for communists. People were seeing, and reporting, communists behind every bush. Any activity which went against the status quo or the political power structure was considered subversive. Congress formed the House Unamerican Activities Committee and began a black list of people considered to be subversives, communist sympathizers and people who would not cooperate with the committee, which meant they would not testify against their fellows or name names of "other suspected subversives." The black list prevented anyone on it from working in the entertainment industry, publishing their work or often even from getting an ordinary job. It was a black time in American history…. [read more]


Salem Witch Trials Research Paper

… According to the article, the events of the Salem Witch Trials, which happened in 1692, took place during an extremely confusing and difficult period in the village of Salem. Salem was under the colonial rule under the Massachusetts Bay colony. At the time, when everything was starting to unfold, the village was waiting for a new governor, and it did not have a charter that could be used in the enforcement of the law. By the time the governor arrived in Massachusetts, all the jails in the area were highly filled by people who had been alleged to be witches. It was even worse because New England towns were also under attacks by the French Canadians and the Native Americans

It was not any different…. [read more]

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