The Crucible Hysteria Essay
!.?.!? Hysteria The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953. The Crucible has to do with a group of women who practice witchcraft and after that implicate innocent individuals of being witches in order to prevent effects. Miller composed The Crucible in 1953 during the McCarthy period when lots of Americans were implicated for having Pro-Communist beliefs. The Crucible draws numerous parallels between the witch-hunts of the 1690s and the McCarthy trials of the 1950s The Puritan life was an extremely plain, simple life; their religion was an extremely severe and stringent faith. The Puritans’ life was mainly based on discipline and religious beliefs.
Back in the 1690s, “A thousand Puritan inhabitants arrived in New England in 1630 after leaving England. In the next fifteen years the Puritan neighborhood in the New World would have nearly 20,00 members” (“Summary: The Crucible” 1). When the Puritan concerned the New World, they needed to face a brand-new severe environment. So, “to fight the cruelty of life in the Massachusetts wilderness, in addition to the temptations of sin, the Puritans employed a rigid sense of discipline, putting the good of the group over the rights of the private” (“Introduction: The Crucible” 1).
Puritans feared witchcraft the most; “in the early 1690s the Puritan neighborhood of Salem suddenly exploded in terror over claims that a few of its people were practicing witchcraft” (“Overview: The Crucible” 1). Witchcraft started in numerous ways throughout the 1690s, however according to The Crucible, “The hysteria over witches in Salem began innocently sufficient with the play of young girls” (“Introduction: The Crucible” 2). Lots of innocent people during the 1690s were implicated of witchcraft, and many were executed.
The criminal activity of witchcraft was a felony and “of the 100 people accused before the 1690s, a minimum of twelve were executed” (“Summary: The Crucible” 2). Witchcraft was not simply a problem in the Puritan religion, however “such allegations were prevalent in lots of religions of the world in the seventeenth century. Hundreds of people accused of witchcraft in England were killed, while countless believed witches were executed in Scotland, Germany, and Scandinavia” (“Summary: The Crucible” 2).
According to Understanding The Crucible, most “allegations in Salem were made mainly and initially by young women and women who protected themselves from charges of witchcraft and lewdness by implicating others; later on accusations were made by those who themselves had actually been accused and admitted to witchcraft in order to conserve themselves from the gallows” (Johnson and Johnson 141). In The Crucible, couple of thought that the women that were accusing the innocent people of witchcraft were frauds and making everything up. According to Francis Nurse from The Crucible, “Excellency, we have proof for your eyes; god for bid you shut them to it.
The women, sir, they are scams” (Miller 87), which indicated that Francis Nurse was aware that the girls were lying about the accusations. Individuals that were implicated of witchcraft were put on trials, and after that they are either let complimentary if they concur that they were practicing witchcraft or if they disagree then they are performed. In the witch-hunts of 1692 and 1950s, “both sets of ‘trials’ happened outside the bounds of legal practice. The Salem trials were at very first conducted as extralegal Hearings by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ancestor John Hawthorne” (Johnson and Johnson 141).
Many people that were prosecuted “were required to appear and defend themselves in extralegal trails of both the seventeenth and twentieth centuries versus charges based practically exclusively on two kinds or evidence” (Johnson and Johnson 141). Aside from witchcraft being a notorious criminal offense throughout the 1600s, Communism was an even bigger threat to the Americans. According to Understanding The Crucible, “In the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, instead of seeing witches all over, the federal government saw “subversives” individuals associated with a global conspiracy to ever throw the country” (Johnson and Johnson 141).
Joseph McCarthy began a motion to stop communism from entering the United States, “Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), a Wisconsin Republican politician, led a tidal bore of anticommunist political republican repression in the United States” (“McCarthyism” 1). Witchcraft was a significant crime many years back, but as more individuals were implicated of witchcraft, the more individuals that denied it. There were a lot of individuals denying the reality that they are not witches, which triggered the witch trials to stop.
There were many accusations of communism in the 1950s. McCarthy himself likewise accused others of communism, specifically when “McCarthy was however catapulted to nationwide prominence as he exploited journalism with thundering quotes and unproven allegations” (“Introduction: The Crucible” 5). But likewise “he even presumed as to implicate the Secretary of Defense, George C. Marshall, of being a mindful agent of Soviet Russia” (“Overview: The Crucible” 5).
Arthur Miller was also accused of being a communist, “Miller complained that the worry of being identified a communist had actually produced an environment of dread and promoted a feeling that individual Americans could run under a formally authorized set of moods and mindsets” (“Introduction: The Crucible” 6). If an individual were to be accused, their tasks and track record would suffer. People that had been implicated of communism would more than likely face the FBI. Nevertheless “the FBI provided much of the info, sketchy though if typically was, that sustained that examinations and prosecutions of believed communists and communist sympathizers” (“McCarthyism” 2).
In the United States throughout 1938, “the House of Representatives formed the Committee on Un-American Activities (HAUC)” (“McCarthyism 1”). After more programs and acts grew to stop communism in The United States, “the Smith Act was passed, making it illegal to advocate the violent topple of government. Different commitment programs designed to weed out communists from tasks in the federal government were taken into location over the next few years” (“McCarthyism” 1). The purpose of was supposed to secure America from subversion and also to examine people that were suspected of unpatriotic behavior and trying to overthrow the government.
For instance, “the Hollywood Ten ushered in a dark period for Hollywood, they were contacted us to appear prior to HUAC, some 3 hundred witnesses from Hollywood holds on to their own professions by confessing their previous communist affiliation and calling others whom they know to have comparable connections in their past” (“McCarthyism” 4). After WWII was over, “the republican takeover of congress ended up being the start of completion of McCarthyism. With Republicans in control in Washington, McCarthy might no longer weave tales of communist conspiracies within the federal government” (“McCarthyism” 3).
Going back to the “Witch-hunts” of the 1950s and 1690s; these 2 different time periods had many similarities’, “Both sets of “trials” took place outside the bounds of legal practice (Johnson and Johnson 140), The 2 similarities on both period was that “citizens were jailed entirely on the allegations of others and were found guilty on the accusations of others” (Johnson and Johnson 140). In The Crucible, there were many accusations especially originating from the young girls. According to Arthur Miller, Mary Warren discusses why Goody Proctor is a witch, as she says, “I never ever knew if in the past.
I never knew anything before. When she come into court I state to myself, I should not implicate this ladies, for she oversleep ditches, and so very old and bad. However then-then she sit there, denying and rejecting, and I feel a misty cold climbin’ up my backs, and the skin on my skull begin to creep, and I feel a misty cold climbin’ up my back, and the skin on my skull start to sneak, and I feel a clamp around my neck and I can not breathe air; and then-entranced-I hear a voice, a creamin’ voice, and it were my voice-and simultaneously I keep in mind everything she done to me! (54 ). Although numerous think The Crucible strictly includes the Salem witch trials of 1692, it plainly has a greater significance than just that. As soon as one accusation was made, it was easy to release all the buried suspicions and hatred into a wave of insanity. Therefore, when they identified what they believed to be a witch, they would execute them, as the Bible instructed them. Works Cited Johnson, Claudia Durst, and Vernon Johnson. “Witch Hunts in the 1950s. Comprehending The Crucible: A Student Casebook and Files. Westport, CT. GreenwoodPress, 1998. 133-135. “McCarthyism. Wind Encyclopedia of U. S. History: Federal Government and Politics. Anne Marie Hacht and Dwayne D. Hayes. Detroit: Windstorm, 2008. Student Resource Center– Junior. Wind. St Francis High School– GA. 27 Aug. 2012. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York City: Penguin, 1953. Print. “Overview: The Crucible.” Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Significant Literary Works and the Historic Events that Influenced Them. Joyce Moss and George Wilson. Vol. 1: Ancient Times to the American and Reign Of Terrors (Prehistoric-1790s). Detroit: Wind, 1997. Literature Resources from Wind. Web. 8 Aug. 2012.