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The crucibl1

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“The Crucible
Section I: Introduction (about 1/2 page)
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, reflects a real event in Salem, Massachusetts that
affected the society mentally, physically, and spiritually in American history. A group of girls
developed strange seizures and hallucinations. The puritans in Salem explained that their
conditions were linked to witchcraft, which inclined the girls to the evil spell. What started as a
meager accusation soon spread across the town and states in America. Nearly everybody accused
each other of witchcraft; in just a year, at least 200 people in Massachusetts were implicated in
the work of the evil. Miller bases The Crucible on McCarthyism and its similarity to the Salem
Witch Trials that were primarily driven by panic and fear. The puritans were afraid and horrified
of witchcraft, precisely because it entailed evil spells they could not understand.
Section II: Biographical (about 1/2 page)
Miller wrote The Crucible to illuminate on the frenzy, mistrust, misinformation, and
wicked convictions during McCarthy trials. He, among other communists, was active in America
soon after the Second World War. During this period, the Soviet Union had exerted significant
influence all over the world, consequently imposing fear on the U.S government. The alleged
activities of communists on the American home soil saw Joseph McCarthy took advantage of
this Red Scare to initiate wrongful trials and convictions. The House of Representatives

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summoned the communists to divulge information on all the people who liaised with the
communists in the area. The government had already concluded that communists were risky to
national security. Miller was in trouble with McCarthyism, which informs a key reason he
related it to Salem Witch Trials. He was required to assent to anticommunist’s declaration, which
he refused to oblige. His action painted him as a communist convert. Miller disliked McCarthy
investigation conducted in the 1950s; therefore, he wrote The Crucible to show his response to
the overwrought political climate. He was accustomed to the political paranoia after WWII, and
when he finally came across the accounts of Witch Trials in Salem, he crafted The Crucible to
express the themes in McCarthy trials.
Section lll: Historical persecution of witches (about 1 page)
Witch-hunt persecution dates back to the 7
th
and 9
th
century when first laws to punish
witches were made (Doniger 346). Before this period, witchcraft was believed to be some magic
linked to healing, and alchemy, therefore it was an essential knowledge in the society, often
named as white witchcraft. However, black magic was connected with wickedness and
worshipping of the devil and was associated with illness and death. When the church rose to
political power in the 13th century, witchcraft and worshipping of the demons became
synonymous. However, witch-hunt became a severe issue in the 15th century, when more people
under Pope Innocent VIII were believed to be practicing witchcraft. Therefore, the witches
hammer (Malleus Maleficarum) made for witch-finders was used to haunt and interrogate people
suspected to be witches. Often, witch-finders tortured the suspects into confession (Campbell 59-
60).

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Surname 1 Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date “The Crucible” Section I: Introduction (about 1/2 page) The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, reflects a real event in Salem, Massachusetts that affected the society mentally, physically, and spiritually in American history. A group of girls developed strange seizures and hallucinations. The puritans in Salem explained that their conditions were linked to witchcraft, which inclined the girls to the evil spell. What started as a meager accusation soon spread across the town and states in America. Nearly everybody accused each other of witchcraft; in just a year, at least 200 people in Massachusetts were implicated in the work of the evil. Miller bases The Crucible on McCarthyism and its similarity to the Salem Witch Trials that were primarily driven by panic and fear. The puritans were afraid and horrified of witchcraft, precisely because it entailed evil spells they could not understand. Section II: Biographical (about 1/2 page) Miller wrote The Crucible to illuminate on the frenzy, mistrust, misinformation, and wicked convictions during McCarthy trials. He, among other communists, was active in America soon after the Second World War. During this period, the Soviet Union had exerted significant influence all over the world, consequently imposing fear on the U.S government. The alleged activities of communists on the American home soil saw Joseph McCarthy took advantage of this Red Scare to initiate wrongful trials and c ...
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