Similarities between The crucible and Arthur Miller’s notion of the McCarthy trials
Arthur Miller was a prominent playwright of the late 20th century. His plays dealt mainly with the emerging American middle class after the World War 2 and “Death of a salesman” (1949) remains one of his major successes winning many awards. The Crucible in my opinion however was one of his plays which was directly related to a situation he personally went through. He wrote the Crucible in 1953 and it is clear that the book was a metaphor for the McCarthy trials going on in the country at the same time.
After the end of World War 1, a new fear gripped the world-Communism. The world viewed communism as a threat to democracy and there was an unspoken agreement that the world not allow its spread. This fear only worsened after World War 2 with the signing of the Alien Registration Act of 1940. This act required everyone who was not a legal American resident to fill a form stating their political beliefs. The House of Un- American Activities was set up in order to investigate people whom the committee thought was not patriotic.
As is seen after any major event, World War 2 gave rise to a new generation of poets, writers, actors and performers. These people were not bound by the prejudices and misconceptions about communism and let their creativity flourish in a harsh and unsympathetic world. Therefore, they were easy prey for the law makers, especially Senator Joseph McCarthy who believed them to be communist sympathizers. Eleven prominent people were called to testify and either accept that they were communists or give names of others whom they believed to be communists. Out of these only one of them testified while 10 refused. Amongst these people was Arthur Miller.
Miller felt that his basic rights were taken away and that authority’s oppressive hand was crushing the moral rights of Americans, thereby successfully destroying their lives. He wrote the Crucible as a metaphor for...