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"The Crucible" as an Allegory of The "Red Scare" of The 1950s in America

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Words: 721 |

Pages: 1.5|

4 min read

Published: Jun 29, 2018

Essay grade:
Excellent
arrow downward Read Review

Words: 721|Pages: 1.5|4 min read

Published: Jun 29, 2018

Essay grade:
Excellent
arrow downward Read Review

Introduction: In his classic drama The Crucible, Arthur Miller chronicles the horror of the Salem witch trials, an embarrassing episode of colonial America's history. At first reading, one might only view Miller's work as a vivid account of the tragedy of theocracy in America's late seventeenth century. Background: However, with an understanding of the period in which Miller penned his work, one can easily view the witch trials of The Crucible as an authentic allegory of the "Red Scare" of the 1950s in America by drawing parallels in settings, characters, and the pervasive paranoia of both societies.

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Topic sentence: To begin with, although centuries apart, the two periods have several dramatic similarities in regards to setting. Seventeenth century colonial America was a mysterious, quite often frightening destination for those who had risked the perils of a voyage from England to make a life for themselves to a New World. For these Puritan settlers of The Crucible, their new home of Salem touches "the edge of the wilderness" and appears "[...] dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time" (Miller 5). In comparison to these colonial emigrants in search of a land where they could enjoy a life free of persecution are the many European emigrants who flooded American soil in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These "modern day" emigrants, like their colonial counterparts, arrived on a new continent, one quite alien from the European countries that many of them had fled. Thesis statement: Certainly, Miller had not only the obvious comparison of setting but also the distinct similarities of characters in mind when he structured his allegory.

Furthering the argument to support The Crucible as an allegory is the uncanny resemblance between the antagonists and protagonists from Miller's work and the real life villains and heroes of the "Red Scare. Obviously, Judge Hathorne and Deputy Governor Danforth's unyielding authority in the Salem witch trials is reminiscent of all who held position of power on the Committee for Un-American Activities. Just as twentieth century Senator Joseph McCarthy and his cronies believed that any semblance of Communism was a threat to America's freedom, Danforth fears that "there is a moving plot to topple Christ in the country!" and that this plot must be eradicated (Miller 98). In addition to these narrow-minded antagonists from both periods are the "free thinkers," who choose not to implicate any of their contemporaries in these "witch hunts." Certainly the outspoken John Proctor who "speak[s] [his] own sins" but will not "judge another" because he "has no tongue for it," is symbolic of Arthur Miller himself as well as those of the artistic community who refused to implicate their friends as "reds" when the paranoia over communist infiltrators continued to mount (Miller 141).

Topic sentence: Finally and most importantly, it is this paranoia, common to both stories, that offers the strongest argument for the fact that Miller intends his work as an allegory. Post World War America was still recovering from the evils of Hitler when the threat of Communism began to seep into American society. Sadly, Senator McCarthy, with the zealous belief that the slightest hint of communism would rob America of its freedoms, became so fanatical that he and his committee succeeded in frightening most American citizens. Just as McCarthy compiled his "black list" of artists, who had done absolutely nothing un-American, Reverend Hale of Miller's work feeds the colonists hysteria with his pronouncement that "[...] the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points" (Miller 71). Ironically, in both cases, the very leaders who set out to protect the beliefs and rights of their people instead violated those rights to the extreme by feeding the hysteria with their paranoid attitudes.

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Conclusion paragraph: Arthur Miller's play certainly depicts a tragic time in American history while offering the audience a vivid account of the misguided notions of a theocracy. However, there is no doubt that Miller's ulterior motive in writing this account was to have it serve as an allegory for the traumatic "witch hunts" of the 1950s. Through his obvious parallels in both characters and setting as well as the treatment of the paranoia from both periods, Arthur Miller has created a masterful allegory in his play The Crucible.

Introduction close-button

Should follow an “upside down” triangle format, meaning, the writer should start off broad and introduce the text and author or topic being discussed, and then get more specific to the thesis statement.

Background close-button

Provides a foundational overview, outlining the historical context and introducing key information that will be further explored in the essay, setting the stage for the argument to follow.

Thesis statement close-button

Cornerstone of the essay, presenting the central argument that will be elaborated upon and supported with evidence and analysis throughout the rest of the paper.

Topic sentence close-button

The topic sentence serves as the main point or focus of a paragraph in an essay, summarizing the key idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.

Evidence & citing close-button

The body of each paragraph builds an argument in support of the topic sentence, citing information from sources as evidence.

Conclusion paragraph close-button

Should follow a right side up triangle format, meaning, specifics should be mentioned first such as restating the thesis, and then get more broad about the topic at hand. Lastly, leave the reader with something to think about and ponder once they are done reading.

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This essay was graded by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
Essay’s grade:
Excellent
What’s grading
minus plus
Expert Review
Overall, the essay is well-organized with a clear thesis and supporting points. The focus of the essay is on the allegorical elements of Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, and its parallels to the "Red Scare" of the 1950s. The sentence structure is clear and concise, and the voice is academic and analytical.

Cite this Essay

“The Crucible” as an Allegory of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s in America. (2018, April 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-crucible-as-an-allegory/
““The Crucible” as an Allegory of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s in America.” GradesFixer, 24 Apr. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-crucible-as-an-allegory/
“The Crucible” as an Allegory of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s in America. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-crucible-as-an-allegory/> [Accessed 24 Jun. 2024].
“The Crucible” as an Allegory of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s in America [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Apr 24 [cited 2024 Jun 24]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-crucible-as-an-allegory/
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