The Crucible and Fear
The Crucible “I have discovered it much easier to identify with the characters who edge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person … These apparently fragile people are the strong people really (Williams: Twenty Years after Glass Menagerie).” Tennessee here recorded the very essence of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The Crucible is all about the desperation, hysteria, and worry of Salem’s individuals. The primary theme of The Crucible is worry. Hysteria and fear are so closely connected they are virtually associated. Hysteria is the main reaction to fear.
When an individual is hysterical, they are paranoid, concerned, and their body goes through “fight-or-flight response.” According to my online health class (I guess I did discover something … how strange) throughout fight-or-flight, an individual either wants to run away from their worry, or combat it. Arthur Miller was feeling hysteria at the time of The Crucible; for that reason his characters were too. They felt the method he was so that he might much better relate to them and write a great story. Throughout history, hysteria has actually shown to be a mass motivator and driving force behind many societies.
Arthur Miller was born right after WWI; nevertheless he was able to see the affect it had on his family. In 1929, he was able to see carefully the impacts of mass hysteria when the stock exchange crashed and caused his household to lose their home. While going to college, Miller changed his significant from Journalism to English at the University of Michigan, and eventually wrote The Crucible (Arthur Miller Biography, Galvin). At the time of The Crucible, WWII had ended, and America was full into the Red Scare. The Red Scare is far less popular than WWII, yet it had a much greater effect on Arthur Miller and his story.
The Red Scare was the look for Communists in America. This search was caused by the worry that WWII caused. It brought around mass hysteria that was, unusually enough, centered on the artists at the time. The Red Scare was big in Hollywood since the film makers, authors, painters, and so on were so prominent to the general public. If they were believed to put pro-communist propaganda in their works, or perhaps to be associated in some method with the Communists, they were blacklisted by the Home Committee on Un-American Activities (or HUAC), and would lose their jobs and track record (Home Committee on Un-American
Activities, Wikipedia. org). Everyone in Hollywood hesitated of being blacklisted. They began reporting each other to the HUAC in order to save themselves, just like what occurred in Miller’s The Crucible. Likewise like The Crucible, there was not a good deal of merit behind these claims. It was discovered to be rather hard to find evidence against somebody who is only called guilty out of vengeance. As Danforth said, “In a common crime, how does one protect the implicated? One calls the witnesses to show his innocence.
But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an unnoticeable criminal offense, is it not? For that reason, who may perhaps be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we can not hope the witch will accuse herself; approved? For that reason, we should trust her victims- and they do affirm, the children definitely do testify (Act III, Scene I).” This line is exactly how the HUAC thought during the Red Scare. The court officials in The Crucible are representations of the HUAC. The Salem Witch Trials were put into action once the women began accusing people in the village of being witches.
They were implicating these individuals because they hesitated of Abigail, who was absolutely extremely threatening, stating to Betty and Mary Warren, “Let either of you breathe a word … and I will concern you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy numeration that will shiver you. And you know I can do it (Act I, Scene I).” Abigail said this due to the fact that she hesitated of word getting out about her misbehaviors (like dancing naked in the woods or consuming blood to kill Goody Proctor). Every character in The Crucible was afraid of something. Thomas Putnam is afraid of his credibility being soiled.
Danforth is afraid of losing the worth and merit of his court; he is also afraid of being wrong. Abigail hesitates of being found, and hence destroying her reputation and opportunities of getting John Proctor to herself. The characters in The Crucible aren’t the only ones to feel scared. Every day, individuals hesitate worldwide. That’s why Arthur Miller’s style of composing is so available to a reader. Arthur Miller utilizes worry to produce relatable, reasonable characters that he, along with any reader, can link to. He likewise uses fear to develop an allegory, or parallel, for the Red Scare. Fear is the primary style of The Crucible.