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January 10, 2020
The Crucible and McCarthyism: What are the Parallels?
In History, there are many incidents which are common in many ways and are parallels. One such example is the times of Joseph McCarthy and the incidents in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. McCarthyism promulgated by Joseph McCarthy was nothing but a fear linked with communism which was backed by Wisconsin’s Senator. Whereas, Miller’s The Crucible is based on the Salem Witch trials, which included the same radical tactics as followed during McCarthyism. These both phenomenon are nothing but a depiction of a fearful environment which led to public hysteria. Dreadful environment based on false allegations is one of the many similarities highlighted in the Crucibles and McCarthyism. The interpretation of the Crucibles and McCarthyism are interrelated as they are evident from the political attitudes, social events from that times, and the dreadful environment.
The political attitudes in both phenomena were set against public interests. McCarthyism was purely related to communism because the expansion of communism was threatening the interests of certain pressure groups, and the only way to keep masses out was to blowout an anti- communist environment, which Senator McCarthy did quite exquisitely. During the Salem Witch trials, in order to keep people away from witchcrafts, false allegations were protracted. These common instances in both incidences suggest that pressure groups create the ploy to distance masses from things which threaten the interests of the ruling class. McCarthyism and the Salem Witch trials effectively played that part.
The Salem Witch trials explained in the Crucibles and McCarthyism of Senator McCarthy left serious impact on the social events. Those who believed that communism might protect their interest, became more shelved, since they had the fear that they might get caught. Similar was the case with people who were facing false allegations of witchcrafts. These people became more critical of the view of the ruling elites of that time. It is the reason that later investigations proved that many people were falsely alleged and were sentenced to death. Such promulgation of a specific narrative had remained against the societal norms throughout human history, but these cases suggest a strong resemblance, when it comes to protect the interest of the ruling class.
The dreadful environment was the most prevalent thing the two periods faced. Since people were made to believe in things which didn’t actually happen, therefore, there was no other way, to create a dreadful environment. Hence, the initiators, Senator McCarthy and the trials of Salem Witch propagated the dreadful environment that people were not willing to live in. Such dreadful environment has always been counter-productive, but it has always benefitted those who wanted to achieve their interests by spreading fear and anxiety. The anti-communist narrative had always discredited what ordinary people desired, and false allegations have been a source to threaten the peace of mind of individuals.
In the above mentioned three events related to McCarthyism and the Salem Witch trials, it is evident that in many ways, these episodes were parallel. The Salem Witch trials, however, led to the unfortunate deaths of some people as well, which was not the case during McCarthyism. The two occurrences also shed light on the ways political interests were achieved, by making the masses a tool of their strategy. Inter- relevance of these two events is natural, and in the end, the beneficiaries in both cases were the interests groups and not the people. This is the reason why both these cases are considered detrimental for the ordinary people.
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