The Crucible relates very much to modern day in a number of different aspects. An example of mass hysteria that would best fit a comparison would be of McCarthyism. McCarthyism was the act of pointing out people in the 1940’s through 1950’s that were believed to be in the American Communist Party. If you look how the girls tried and lie to get themselves out of trouble, and then compare them to people who lied in the 40’s-50’s to keep themselves out of trouble, you will see that all they were doing was putting the blame on someone else rather then themselves.
Even in papers discussing McCarthyism it is referred to as ‘the witch hunt’. It was said after what had happened to McCarthy’s opponents in the 1950 elections, most politicians were unwilling to criticize him in the Senate. This is exactly what Abigail Williams did in the play. She ‘the finger of God’ pointed out people as did her friends so that she and they may benefit from their lies. An example was when Abigail pointed out Elizabeth Proctor, and when the little girl pointed out Jacobs so that her father could claim all of his land. Like in Salem, in the 1940′-50’s everything was done to get rid of people in the American Communist party.
People who had written books that criticized the government were almost automatically placed on ‘the blacklist’, a list of people in the Communist party. Books were removed from libraries so that people would get no anti- government ideas in there heads. Even Arthur Miller was placed on the list after he refused to testify against people in front of the HUA C. After he was placed on this list he began writing ‘The Crucible’ and you can see how the book was strongly influenced by what was going on in this time period. Miller believes that society is never an excuse for our failings, and that we are responsible for ourselves, and Procter is constantly willing to stand up and be counted, to live up to his name except that human weakness and guilt sometimes drag him down. Proctor:’ Then who will judge me? God in Heaven, what is John Procter? I think it is honest, I think so; I am no saint.
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Let Rebecca go like a saint; for me it is fraud!’ He struggles with his decision, but decides; Hale: ‘Man you will hang you cannot!’ Procter: ‘I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Procter. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.’ This shoes that Proctor was willing to stand up, how he was that blade of grass in Salem that would not be dragged down, but instead stand up. A person who can kind of be related, who wanted the hysteria in the 50’s to end wa the president. The only difference between Proctor and The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was that the President had power to do something.
In a speech mad by richard Nixon in 54′ it is evident who and what was being spoken of although no names were mentioned -‘Men who have in the past done effective work exposing Communists in this country have, by reckless talk and questionable methods, made themselves the issue rather than the cause they believe in so deeply.’ This was McCarthy’s last day at the top, after this reporters and all found it alright to criticize McCarthy’s tactics without themselves being blacklisted. McCarthy was removed from his Chairmanship of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate, and rumors of communist threat in America slipped away, so did the press from the issue, and so did Macarthur from his claims. So yes, The Crucible does relate to modern days, and mass hysteria with name calling and finger pointing can happen anywhere. History repeats itself, and that is the lesson to be learned from the ‘witch trials.’.
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