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"The Crucible can be better appreciated if the reader understands the time it was written and the nature of McCarthyism." Discuss

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Introduction

Burning Issues Essay "The Crucible can be better appreciated if the reader understands the time it was written and the nature of McCarthyism." Discuss The Crucible can be better appreciated if the reader understands the time it was written and the nature of McCarthyism because it would be more logical to the readers. If McCarthyism is unknown about by the younger readers of the play, it makes it a lot difficult to understand. Therefore the knowledge of the nature of McCarthyism and the time of it would be an understanding of the book. The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play revolving around the Salem witch trials. Throughout the play Abigail Williams is a central character that has an enormous influence on the proceedings through out the play. The Crucible was written in 1950's, which is set in Salem Massachusetts. The play deals with the Salem witch trials and how they went about dealing with the situation of mass frenzy. ...read more.

Middle

The continuing interference into other people's lives creates distrust and suspicion in the society. McCarthyism, named after Joseph McCarthy, was a period of intense anticommunism, also known as the second Red Scare, which occurred in the United States from 1948 to about 1956, when the government of the United States actively mistreated the Communist Party USA, its leadership, and others suspected of being communists.1 The McCarthyism era received its name based on the idea of a witch-hunt. This movement backed by American's concern of Communism. The witch hunter of this time, Joseph McCarthy who was a senator during this time. The goal of the hunt was to find communists, or anyone associated with communists. During this time people were blacklisted, an action that jeopardized a persons career. The development of the 'blacklisting', a term used to describe being put on a secret list which meant you were in association of the Communist Party, allowed for the dismissal of many employees. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many of Miller's friends were being attacked as communists and in 1956; Miller himself was brought before the House of Un-American Activities Committee where he was found guilty of beliefs in communism4. The verdict was reversed in 1957 in an appeals court. This shows that since the writer also experience the time in which it happened, it give a more understanding so that the reader can also appreciate the book. Overall The Crucible as a play and a story is better appreciated through the knowledge of the past history of McCarthyism and the time it was written in. Arthur Miller combines both the past and the present for the readers to understand the book but as before, the play is 'better' appreciated if the reader understands the nature of McCarthyism. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 - World History, McCarthyism (2003) [online] at http://www.worldhistory.com/wiki/M/McCarthyism.htm 2 - Spark notes, McCarthyism (2005) [online] at http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/crucible/study.html 3 - Wilton Library, McCarthyism (2005) [online] at http://www.wiltonlibrary.org/ya/school/crucible.htm 4- Roots Web, Arthur Miller-Crucible (2002) [online] at http://www.rootsweb.com/~nwa/witch.html ...read more.

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