Mccarthyism and The Crucible In Arthur Miller’s Play

Imagine people having an abundance of fear for someone; so much that they could not even speak. “The Crucible” is a play about witchcraft and paranoia. The play ends with the judge of the trial concluding an incorrect verdict and putting multiple citizens to their death. This case also occurs when Joseph Mccarthy assumes, without evidence, that a certain community of people happen to be communist spies. In Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible” he exploits the similarities between the Salem Witch Hunt and McCarthyism.

The first similarity between “The Crucible” and McCarthyism is how the people of the triam are both wrongly accused and there is no evidence to support the crime committed, but still they are accused. As in act 1 Abigail proclains, “There be no blush about my name…[Elizabeth Proctor] hates me, uncle, she must, for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman!”( 1220 Miller ) In this quote Elizebeth is falsely accused by Abigail because Abigail is jealous of Elizebeth Proctor's husband John Proctor.

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McCarthyismis the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence(“Mccarthyism.”) This is exactly what happens here to Elizabeth.

The second similarity between “The Crucible” and McCarthyism is the paranoia. In the 1940s and the 1950s, Americans feared the approachment of communism. The Soviet Union was growing in power and the threat of a nuclear holocaust was on the edge of American minds.

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Eastern Europe had become a chain of Communist satellite nations. Throw in China and Americans began to feel they were surrounded by a Communist threat. Paranoia ensued.(Lorcher) On the other hand, in the book “The Crucible”, Salem established itself as a religious community in the midst of evil. Salemites considered the forest the domain of the devil. Salem was surrounded by forest. Paranoia also ensued.

The third and final similarity between “ The Crucible” and McCarthyism, is how no one choosed to stand up to nether of these judges. In “The Crucible” the towns people fear to stand up to the court because of their fear of being accused as a witch. 'Your name in the town - is entirely white, is it not?' (1228 ) Based on McCarthyism, the media was to scared to stand up to McCarthy in fear of being accused of being a communist.

The similarities between McCarthyism and The Crucible are quite noticeable. There are many similarities involving fear. That is what the big factor is in these two cases. They have many things about them that are alike and are almost the same story just revised.

Works Cited

  1. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Oxford University Press, 2019.
  2. Lorcher, Trent. “Similarities Between McCarthyism and The Crucible & More Symbolism in The Crucible.” Bright Hub Education, 8 Oct. 2019,
  3. “Mccarthyism.”,,
Updated: Feb 13, 2024
Cite this page

Mccarthyism and The Crucible In Arthur Miller’s Play. (2024, Feb 13). Retrieved from

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