Theme Parallels

Theme Parallels

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  • Theme: Fear & Hysteria
  • During the 1950s, the American public came to fear being blacklisted and that the neighbors and friends they lived among potentially had communist ties. The fear and hysteria filled communities and spread like wildfire. In the Crucible, after the initial accusation of witchcraft, the accusations also spread like wildfire. Young and old did anything they could to 'save their community' from the devil by sending their own neighbors, friends, and family to prison or even death. Both moments in history both created and led to a surplus of madness. 
  • McCarthyism
  • He looks guilty, I see it in his eyes. 
  • "Yet in the late 1940s and early 1950s, American fears of internal communist subversion reached a nearly hysterical pitch." (Wall)
  • I'm not a communist I swear!
  • The Crucible
  • "... the fear was almost impossible to dislodge. Perhaps the best way to identify a witch-hunt, today or 300 years ago, is to look for fear, because fear spawns witches." (Shapiro)
  • She's a witch!! Safe yourselves sinners!
  • Plot Point: Innocent 'proven' Guilty
  • Due to the power Joseph McCarthy had during his time in the Senate, he was able to use little to no evidence to convict his 'victims' of communism. An example being Arthur Miller, who was convicted of contempt of Congress for not cooperating with the House on Un-American Activities for simply being the best friend of a so-called 'Communist'. Many others, like Arthur Miller, who had no Communist ties, but produced/wrote/acted in controversial movies and plays were also questioned or convicted. In the Crucible, due to the power that is given to a group of young girls including Abigail Williams and Mary Warren, many women in the Salem village (some of which were their family's matriarch and regularly attended church as Rebecca Nurse was) were accused of witchcraft, jailed, and later hanged using spectral evidence.
  • McCarthyism
  • I would think there would need to be some evidence to convict me.  
  • The Crucible
  • She's a witch! Her spirit came to me!
  • Hi, I'm Goody Nurse. I go to church every Sunday and I love Jesus and reading the bible. 
  • Arthur Miller was convicted of Contempt of Congress for not cooperating with the House on Un-American Activities (Arthur Miller Biography).
  • Young women, such as Abigail Williams, accused anyone and everyone they thought necessary to carry out their evil plot against the Proctors. (Miller 21,22)
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