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Arthur Miller’s character from The Crucible, Abigail Williams, was a beautiful girl who had a hold on people’s lives. She lied to protect herself and caused chaos for everyone in the town of Salem because all of the right people believed her. History repeats itself, and what Abigail has caused and done has been done many times. During our existence, Adolf Hitler and Joseph McCarthy repeated the same sort of chaos as Abigail Williams had done.
Adolf Hitler was a German dictator who spread a rumor that Jews were the cause of Germany’s problems, had the power to have them killed, and had six million Jews killed.
Hitler could have anything done because he sympathized with the people and had the people and the Nazi army on his side. Just like Abigail did when she spread the rumors of witches and had others back her accusations up; “MARY WARREN: She sees nothin’! ABIGAIL: She sees nothin’! MARY WARREN: Abby, you mustn’t! ABIGAIL AND ALL THE GIRLS: Abby, you mustn’t!” (1209).
Abigail also sympathized with the Church, for the Church was aware of witches and if there was an accusation towards a person most of those people who were accused would die. Saying the names of different people who were supposedly witches would cause their death.
Joseph McCarthy was a senator who between 1940 & 1950 made a public accusation that, more than two hundred “card-carrying” communists had infiltrated the United States government, including the author, Arthur Miller. This caused a heightening of paranoia and a hunt for these people.
The hunt was notoriously difficult on writers and entertainers who were called communist sympathizers. The writers and entertainers would get their passports taken away, or jailed, but most importantly the well publicized trials of these artists could destroy their careers when tried as a communist sympathizer.
Both of these men had influence on people that caused great chaos in others life similar to what Abigail did in her time. Joseph McCarthy made an accusation that started paranoia and accused many people of being a communist sympathizer, like Abigail did when she said the names of “Sarah Good”, “Goody Osburn”, “Bridget Bishop” (1156), and others who were supposedly witches and who she supposedly saw with the devil and got them killed. Adolf Hitler had about six million Jews killed because he thought it would solve Germany’s problems and bring peace. Abigail had the people in town killed because it would be the solution to get out of Salem unharmed. In all three situations they had people agree with what they said and made it a much more believable to more and more people than what a specific person believed.
Adolf Hitler, Joseph McCarthy, and Abigail Williams all had something in common; they had the ability to have many people believe things that were not true and have action to execute that individuals plan. Whether it was to have someone executed, put on trial, or have people believe the malarkey that they were speaking, they all had a chaos that started with Abigail and repeated itself in a different way but same concept.
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