Crucible VS. McCarthyism

Published: 2021-07-02 05:08:08
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Category: Witchcraft, Crucible

Type of paper: Essay

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The main difference between McCarthyism and the Crucible is that McCarthyism was a real political period in the United States when Senator McCarthy tried to scare people that communism was leaking into our government but as for the crucible it was a group of people that was just accusing other people of witchcraft. While the Salem witch trials occurred in the late 1600’s, a similar unfortunate situation occurred in the 1950’s with McCarthyism. The Salem witch trials shared many common characteristics.
The similarities include continuous accusations, leading politicians, and the reaction to witchcraft and communism. The Salem witch trials and McCarthyism both involved ongoing accusations that led to numerous innocent people being accused and prosecuted. In The Crucible, local people accuse women and men in Salem of witchcraft. When the teenage girls first accuse Tituba, the Reverend’s housekeeper, a chain of accusations begin. To avoid death, Tituba accused others in the town causing each of the accused to place blame on others.
The Crucible is a metaphor for the accusations made in the 1950’s during the McCarthyism era. Senator Joseph McCarthy led the series of allegations with a list of people he felt were related somehow to communism. The list that was made grew as more people accused others for personal revenge. These continuous accusations went on until the original list of over 200 grew to almost 10,000. The accusations would not have led to any consequences without a leader to oversee the proceedings. Both the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism had instigators who fueled the hysteria.



The Crucible’s judge supervising the trials of those charged of witchcraft. He not only supervised the trials, he set the punishments for those convicted of witchcraft. It was the judge who decided who was to get what punishment although all accused were innocent. The modern Judge Daniforth is Senator Joseph McCarthy who watched over the 1950’s McCarthyism era. During the McCarthyism era, Senator McCarthy oversaw the proceedings and created the House Un-American Committee. Senator McCarthy directed the questioning to all those accused of association with communism.
The Salem witch trials and McCarthyism pretty much go hand in hand. During the witch trials everybody started accusing everybody else of witchcraft. During the McCarthyism era, Senator McCarthy started accusing people of being communists. Senator McCarthy also made up most of the statements he said about the supposed communists. Senator McCarthy is a guy that was known for lying and never telling the truth. A lot of people were executed and basically everyone was killed. They both had leaders causing public hysteria against the accused. Then people realized that there was no proof.
Also people that were accused had no say if they were guilty weather they were or not. The similarities begin with a culture of panic. Both instances are characterized by this. The Salem Witch Trials were the result of a concerted effort to find witches brought on by panic. The same was true for Senator McCarthy in the Senate. He was on a mission to find communists and rallied a panicked public around him. The hysteria in Salam led to many people being accused of witchcraft and hanged. McCarthyism was fueled by hysteria because people accused others of being Communists. Both were fueled by paranoia and mass hysteria.
The McCarthy Hearings were referred to as "witch hunts" because of their similarity to the Salem witch trials. They both struck fear in the people due to the "guilty until you confess" attitude which controlled the courts. In Salem the only way to escape death was to confess and repent; in the McCarthy hearings if you were accused, whether guilty or not, you would always be viewed as a Communist. McCarthy also relates to Abigail in The Crucible, because they both made false accusations against innocent people. McCarthy accused people of being communists, whereas Abigail accused people of using witchcraft.
Of course, the events were very different in results and reasons, but the main idea of seeking and hunting down the people who represent different ideals is the same. In both cases, the leaders were looking for people to blame their own fears and lack of certainty on. It was with the Salem witch trials that people from one side of town were accused of being witches, not because they had done anything related to witchcraft, but because they or their families occupied valuable land that the accusers or their masters or friends were seeking to purchase at low prices.
By associating the land with witchcraft, the value of the property was greatly decreased. If the woman was found guilty of witchcraft, they and their families could be stripped of their property making it easier to be acquired by those seeking to own it. Senator McCarthy managed to form a senate commission to investigate the spread of communism in the USA, putting particular focus and emphasis on the entertainment industry. This effectively ended their ability to perform or earn a living under their own names, as they were blacklisted by the industry to assuage McCarthy's perceived political masters.

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