John Proctor is easily identified as The Crucible’s protagonist. Proctor was a stand-up man who spoke his mind. His name was synonymous with honour and integrity within the community. Proctor
The horrors of history are passed on from generation to generation in hopes that they will never occur again. People look back on these times and are appalled at how horrendous the times were; yet, in the 1950s, history repeated itself. During this time, Joseph McCarthy, a United States senator from Wisconsin, began accusing people of being communists or communist sympathizers, which is parallel to the Salem witch trials in the late 1690s when innocent people were accused of practicing witchcraft. One of the people McCarthy accused was author and playwright Arthur Miller. To express his outrage at McCarthy’s actions, miller wrote The Crucible, intentionally drawing similarities between the McCarthy hearings and the Salem witch trials.
People’s true character is revealed through their actions. Their morals and ethics can be told from how they choose to act in a situation. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible; the character of John Proctor is an honorable man despite having committed wrongful acts. He was able to redeem himself through acts that is considered courageous, such as when he refuses to contribute to the lie of witchcraft in Salem, when he fights for the people who were convicted of witchcraft and when he regrets being a dishonest man.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, communism was a major threat to the United States. Joseph McCarthy, a senator at the time, attempted to capitalize on this by accusing over two hundred men and women of sneaking communism into the United States government or for supporting the cause.* Among these two hundred men and women were several authors, including Arthur Miller. In explaining his reasoning for writing The Crucible, Miller said, ". . . my basic need was to respond to a phenomenon which, with only small exaggeration, one could say was paralyzing a whole generation and in an amazingly short time was drying up the habits of trust and toleration in public discourse."* After visiting Salem and researching the events of the Salem Witch Trials, Miller realized how the havoc of these events corresponded to the events in the 1940s and 1950s.*
Communism. Witchcraft. These two highly controversial topics are either feared or adored by people. There are numerous similarities and differences between both, yet one thing is prominent: they both incite hysteria. The Crucible by Arthur Miller is an allegorical play mirroring 1950’s America during the Red Scare. “McCarthyism” is the act of accusing someone of an act of treason without substantial evidence. It relies on the uncertainty and the fear of the unknown among people, which in turn, incites hysteria. Joseph McCarthy accused many people of being communists without much evidence or reason. The accusations in The Crucible also are proposed without evidence and cause much hysteria among the town. Since The Crucible was written as an
should be happy. He also hides the fact that he was alone in the room
John Proctor, one of the main characters in The Crucible is perfect for demonstrating how superiority to one’s old self is the key to being noble. The audience is aware of John Proctor’s cheating situation in the beginning of the play which he tries to fix while also attempting to prove that those accused of witchcraft are innocent. He shows
During the 1940s and 1950s there was a mass hysteria in America because people suspected others of being Communist. A man named Arthur Miller wrote ‘’The Crucible’’ as a way to signify what was happening in the U.S. . He used this story to show how bad things were and how easy it was for people to be falsely accused of being Communist. Miller connects America's Red scare to his fictional story ‘’The Crucible’’ because in the fictional drama the normal people of Salem where falsely persecuted as witches and just like the people during the Red Scare , their lives were ruined beyond repair and they were even killed for suspicion of being a witch even if there was littler evidence to state them as being one.
“Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again,” happens to be a quote from John Proctor whilst he was speaking to Abigail Williams in Act One of The Crucible. John Proctor happens to be a hard-working farmer from Salem with strong Puritan beliefs. Although John is a religious Puritan man he has some downfalls within the play The Crucible. His first downfall would be him committing adultery with a seventeen year old named Abigail Williams, who was his servant at the time. After committing said adultery with the teenage girl, he keeps it a secret from his wife until she fires Abigail and kicks her out of their house. After that his wife is accused of being a witch by Abigail because of him not wanting to be with Abigail anymore. He finally tells the truth about the affair while in court and is accused of being a witch after screaming “God is dead,” he then was hung three months later. So, if there is one character I can most closely relate myself to it would be John Proctor. Three character traits that I share with John Proctor is that we are both honest, hard-working, and caring.
In Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” it tells the tale of the Salem Witch Trials. At the time of the play, the McCarthy trials, named after Sen. Joseph McCarthy, were underway. Though, instead of hunting for witches, they were hunting for communists. These two trials may have happened at different points in history, but were in many ways the same. Whether it was death to job loss a lot of lives were changed on account of these trials. “The Crucible” and the McCarthy trials have become historically important because they show the process of power, fear, and turmoil.
In this paper, I will be talking about The Crucible, a story written by Arthur Miller in 1952 about the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and the Red Scare, a time in the 1950’s when Americans were scared that Communists were a threat to them. I will also talk about how Arthur Miller uses “The Crucible” to help the reader understand that similarities such as fear and nationalism occur in historical witch hunts such as the Red Scare still exist, and society persecutes those who do not fit into society because it fears those who are different.
The Crucible is the fictional story of the Salem witch trials in which many women were accused of being witches. The Crucible is written by Arthur Miller, who was recorded as the greatest American playwright (“Arthur Miller” 1). The scene for the play is based in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1692. McCarthyism was the act of accusing people of treason without evidence, attacks on a person's character, and attack on their patriotism by accusing many Americans of being communist (Ortega). Lisa Martin says, “Communists control led the two world superpowers, China and the Soviet Union Americans feared a takeover in their own country” (Martin 1). Many people tried to accuse the men and women who were spreading the fear. One man named Joseph McCarthy was a senator that charged communists that interfered with the U.S. State Department (“Joseph McCarthy” 1). The accusations lead to investigations, questioning and finding people guilty without evidence,
Despite outspoken personality and qualities as a critical thinker, John Proctor is far from being a perfect human being. In his notes, Arthur Miller describes him as a sinner, "a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct." (P.20) Similar to Jesus who was tempted in the desert and taunted by the pharisees, Proctor's journey is riddled with hardships. He strives to overcome them and to follow his moral compass over the course of the novel. When Abigail Morris seeks him out after being fired, he has the courage to overcome his lust and to end their relationship. He boldly claims: "I will cut off my hand before I'll ever reach for you again" (P.22) Moreover, he spends months trying to regain
The play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller was written in response to McCarthyism in the 1950’s. In 1692 and 1693 the Salem witch trials took place in Salem Massachusetts. Girls believed to be involved in witchcraft were responsible for these trials. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s senator McCarthy came to office. Senator McCarthy and some of his allies were responsible for hysteria in the United States of America in the 1950’s. The scare was also in result of a communist scare after World War II and leading to the cold war. The behavior of the people of the Salem witch trials and Americans in the 19050’s resulted in a big scare in reaction to hysteria.
One of the many works written and driven by Puritan influence, The Crucible by Arthur Miller has continued to influence life and thinkings. Its story tracing the 1692 Salem Witch Trials has been widely read, received and understood, along with influencing the reader and their ideals. The play has manifested into more than words on a page and has become of the greatest influences, even sixty years after its publication. Though its story has not changed and is merely a retelling of the original itself, its themes have greatly impacted its universal and enduring state.