False Accusations

Shykeria Cradic

What was McCarthyism ?

In 1950, an ambitions and dishonest Republican, Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed he had a list of 205 members of the Communist Party of the United States who worked for the State Department. This man became the symbol of the Red-hating crusader, and gave his name to era- McCarthyism. He became associated with a communist witch hunt, in which 2,000 men and women were summoned to apprear before the Senate's House Un-American Activities Commitee, by the time he was exposed as a fraud and a liar he had created an atmosphere of fear and ruined the lives of many.

What is The Crucible?

Arthur Miller uses allegory in his play, The Crucible, to show the similarities between the Salem witch trials and the Red Scare. During the McCarthy era, freedom was a very important aspect in life; during the Salem witch trials, religion was a very important aspect of life. In both of these events, people are frightened. The Red Scare led to many people fearing others, thinking everyone was a Communist. In the Salem witch trials, witchcraft is threatening the village. Arthur Miller also wanted to show the similarity between both corrupt courts in these two events. In the Salem witch trials, all substantial evidence is thrown out of the window, and everything that supports witchcraft is valid. Much is the same with the Red Scare court system.

Similarity ? (McCarthyism & The Crucible)

The Crucible: The girls unsubstantiated claims ruin lives and lead to increased hostility in Salem.

McCarthyism: Those who were accused were assumed guilty, put on trial, and expected to divulge the names of other Communist sympathizers. Failure to do so led to sanctions.

The Crucible: Those who are accused are assumed guilty, put on trial, expected to confess, and expected to accuse others of being witches. Failure to do so leads to death.

McCarthyism: The media were not willing to stand up to Senator McCarthy for fear of being accused of being a Communist.

The Crucible: Townspeople are not willing to stand up to the court for fear of being accused of being a witch.

Similarity ? (Abigail & Joseph McCarthy)

  • both were insignificant to their communities before they worked their way up
  • got many in legal trouble
  • accused people of being something they weren't
  • not able to accurately prove accusations
Both Abigail and Joseph accused many innocent people of things that weren't true. Though wrong, they believed they were doing good. Joseph was strongly against communism, and he thought he was serving the U.S. justice. Also, Abigail tried to clear her name, in the name of God. In the end they were looked down upon, and ultimately they were the ones who truly lost.