The play The Crucible is a perfect allegory for the era in which the book itself was written. Miller attempts to parallel the crucible in the book to the political environment of the time period that he wrote the book during, with the puritans being the american citizens and their religion being the anti communist views being one in the same. The hysteria created by both witchcraft and communism made both of the populations in which they originated in, made the level headedness of anyone in either of the populations disappear completely over things as little as not going to church.
The most prevalent of the parallel is when the people of salem believe the Proctors to be a family of witches since “only two are baptized”(Miller 65), referring to the one child that is not baptized as being the pathway for the devil into their house. The puritans in turn taking it upon themselves to do “God’s work” and hanging them for mere accusations of dealings with the devil. The cold war equivalent for this would be the red scare causing people in California or people of great influence to show a miniscule amount of communistic mannerism and it leading to them being blacklisted by the people of hollywood who wanted to do the exact same thing the puritans wished to do, just with a separate set of principles.
Clearly most of the accusations were hollow and had no logical grounding besides the fact that it opposed the opposite opinions of the majority of the puritans. Proctor has to face the lies that were said about his wife so she would be convicted and eventually hanged, so the one who projected those lies onto her can take her place in
John Proctor’s life as she always and wanted to do. Proctor and his wife are the only people who know that she is lying as he calls to the one of the girls “God damns liars…”(Miller 117). Him trying to get the people of the court to stop playing into the girl’s stupid games in the courtroom as they say that one of the girls that was accused was projecting her spirit as a bird might be the most desperate thing the book has to offer. Preceding the bird antics Proctor had brought a girl previously friends with the accuser and she had confessed to Proctor earlier that she knew the girls were lying, she had just been forced to stay away from the subject because Abigail threatened them all with bodily harm as the chaos first set in. The people in the hollywood case soon inflated to the numbers the witch trials had done so many years earlier and as the crimes did not warrant life or death for them, it sure did mean life or death for their careers.
The Crucible may not be the most outright allegory for the things one might expect,
like the actual witch hunts of Salem, but they sure do seem to line up pretty well with
the red scare and whom of which it affected. The frantic people of Salem in the early 1690s and the United States general populous reflected a lot of the same qualities even though the situations were vastly different. The red scare and witchcraft may seem as if the present some of the same problems they really do create some of the same conflicts between the people that experience it.
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