In1940s and fifties decades, the Soviet Union conquered and establishedseveral puppet communist states in Europe and Asia. In addition, theSoviets developed strong military arsenal such as atomic bombs thatmade the USA feel threatened by communism. After China had become acommunist state, USA government fell into paranoia as the communistcould soon conquer and convert the US from a capitalistic to acommunist state (Miller and Maureen 14). The Wisconsin State Senator,Joseph McCarthy heightened communism tension in the 1950s after heclaimed that two hundred Communist party affiliates “holding cards”had infiltrated the United States. McCarthy had no evidence to proofthe claims, but the assertion increased hostility between theCommunist party and the ruling Republicans (Miller and Maureen 26).Manhunt for suspected communists in the government began immediately.The government arrested, prosecuted and intimidated individuals italleged to be communist sympathizers, to name their colleagues.People who failed to denied the accusations were put under sanctionssuch as disbarring lawyers, sacking government officials, obstructinggraduates from getting work in public offices or even declining togive them passports (Millerand Maureen 47). The suspects’ casesduring era were biases since suspects were assumed guiltyby default. Besides, the media feared publishing unbiased findingsbecause journalists feared being labeled Communist sympathizers(Miller and Maureen 53).
era resembles Crucible themes, as the Salemites (a society ofChristians), felt threatened by evil spirits that originated from theforest cover surrounding them. The community associated forests asthe source of evil spirits (their destruction) just as McCarthyattributed communism as the source of USA’s destruction in the1950s (Miller and Maureen 17). The Salemite leaders were skepticaland determined to eliminate evil spirits and individuals responsiblefor invoking bad spirits in the society, just as McCarthy wasambitious of rooting out the Communist members and their sympathizersin the United States. Abigail Williams, Tituba and other girlsfalsely accuse society members with witchcraft association asMcCarthy associated some people with Communist party withoutsubstantial proof (Miller and Maureen 98). The false claims by bothMcCarthy and the girls made innocent lives perish. For example,Proctor and other individuals are executed in the Harlem trials, andyet the real witchcraft culprit (Tituba) escapes death (Miller andMaureen 65). Judge Danforth also compelled witchcraft suspects suchas Proctor to confess and incriminate other people associated withevil spirits, or else they faced execution. McCathy uses a similarapproach whereby, suspects that failed to admit their role inCommunism (such as the Crucible author) were blacklisted. Besides,witnesses feared testifying in the Salem Witch Trials as they fearedbeing accused of sympathizing with evil doers (Miller and Maureen74). Similarly, McCarthy intimidated journalists and other peoplefrom talking about the issue, as he would label them communistsympathizers.
Miller,Arthur, and Maureen Blakesley. TheCrucible.Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 1992. Print.