Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Crucible

The Crucible is a 1953 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693.  

In the 1950's the fear that communists both outside and inside America were working to destroy our way of life created a reaction known as the Red Scare.  Pop culture reflected this fear of communists invading and taking over Americans minds.

Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists.[1] Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities.

A little known senator from Wisconsin, Joseph R. McCarthy charged that more than 200 communist agents had infiltrated the highest levels of our government. The charge provoked a furor and a witch hunt that quickly spread to all levels of American life.

Compare and Contrast the Salem Witch Hunts to the McCarthy Era. Who was persecuted and what was the evidence? What recourse did the accused have? Which was more dangerous: the accusation or the actual witches?

Who was Edward R. Murrow and how did he respond to these allegations?