During the time of McCarthyism, the trials of Communists were well-publicized. Almost everyone knew who was accused of being a Communist and if they were being tried in court. This was mainly because everyone was fearful of others who could potentially be a Communist. Out of fear, people stayed informed about who was being tried and who was not ("McCarthyism"). In The Crucible, the characters live in a small town, where everyone knows everything about everyone. Whenever someone is accused of witchcraft, the entire town seems to know about it. Rebecca Nurse is accused of witchcraft and everyone finds out about it because she is so well-respected in the community (Miller, Crucible 74).
Rebecca's in the jail?
When McCarthyism was present in society, people were paranoid about Communists because no one knew who was actually a Communist and who was not. This paranoia caused people to throw around accusations, which resulted in many people losing their jobs, especially in the production industry ("McCarthyism"). In The Crucible, the girls begin naming names at the end of Act I. It turns into chaos, which is similar to what happened during the time of McCarthyism. Their accusations were also a method of protecting themselves because if others were accused of witchcraft, then the girls would not have to suffer as harsh of a punishment (Miller, Crucible 48).