The Crucible/McCarthy Parallel Assignment

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  • Plot
  • Overview
  • For both McCarthyism and The Crucible, people were adamantly opposed to the hysteria surrounding their respective timeframes. During the Red Scare, a group of pro-Communists in the film industy were found to be in contempt of the court after refusing to name other pro-Communists. In The Crucible, Giles Corey presents another person's testimony to the court. When asked who the person was, Giles doesn't give up the name because he fears the court will accuse that person of witchcraft. He is arrested on charges of contempt, but he doesn't plead innocent nor guilty. He is crushed by rocks in an attempt by the court to draw a plea out of him. In both cases, people stood up against authoritative figures in order to save their fellow man from the wrath of the court.
  • McCarthyism
  • A group of Communist screenwriters, directors, actors, and playwrights who were known as the Hollywood Ten were all given jail sentences for not cooperating with the HUAC in giving the names of fellow Communists. ("Hollywood")
  • The Crucible
  • After Giles Corey reveals the testimony of another person, he is told by the court to reveal the identity of that person. He refuses, and the court tortures him to death while trying to get a confession out of him. (Miller Crucible 135)
  • Plot
  • Summary
  • In both The Crucible and McCarthyism, lies were spread amongst the people in order to create mass hysteria. McCarthy used the lie of Communists entering the US to bolster support for the Republican party and remove rival Democrats from office on accusations of Communism. Abigail lies about being pricked with a needle by Elizabeth Proctor in order to kill Elizabeth and marry her husband, John Proctor.
  • McCarthyism
  • Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, an adamant anti-Communist, claimed that 200 Communists had been admitted into the US. Although it was later discovered to be a lie,  Republicans used the statement to gain support from the American people and spread anti-Communist feelings amongst the people. ("McCarthyism")
  • The Crucible
  • In Act II of The Crucible, Elizabeth is arrested on charges of witchcraft. She had been given a doll earlier, it Abigail had been pricked with a needle in the same place that a needle was found on the doll. It is later revealed in Act II Scene II that Abigail wants Elizabeth out of the way so she can marry John Proctor. (Miller Crucible 72-77)
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