Essay on The Crucible and the McCarthy Era

498 Words2 Pages
Arthur Miller's The Crucible, depicts the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 but is analogous to the McCarthy trials of the 1950s. In both situations, widespread hysteria occurs, stemming from existing fears of the people of that particular era. The Salem witchhunt trials parallel the McCarthy era in three major aspects: unfounded accusations, hostile interrogation of numerous innocent people and the ruination and death of various people's lives.      The unfounded accusations that Joseph McCarthy and the girls in The Crucible make are what fuels the widespread hysteria in both situations. McCarthy is quoted as declaring in a speech, "I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were known to the Secretary of…show more content…
Throughout the Salem witch trials, Judge Danforth and Hathorne would constantly badger the accused to confess. In Act III, Hathorne claims, "How do you know, then, that you are not a witch?" (Pg. 1221) After Martha Corey denies herself being a witch, Hathorne persists by saying, "Why do you hurt these children?" The hostile interrogation of both periods failed to bring forth concrete evidence for a genuine communist or witch.      The ruination and deaths of various people of the McCarthy trials and the Salem witchhunt are appalling. Multitudinous amounts of people are affected by these trials. Over 2,000 people are accused and fired by their government positions by the end of the McCarthy trials. During the Salem witchhunt, at least twenty people are hung and 150 others are jailed. The lives of these people, being changed after the trials had to rebuild a new life for themselves. People's careers are destroyed and property is taken away, as a result. The ruination and deaths of various people are a result of Joseph McCarthy's and the girls' unfounded accusations.      The Salem witchcraft trials are very similar to the McCarthy trials in three aspects: unfounded accusations, hostile interrogation of numerous innocent people and the ruination and death of various people's lives. Mass accusations are made for personal gain and no good has resulted from these
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