- Term Papers and Free Essays

Repeatitious History - Accusations of Witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950

Essay by   •  January 13, 2016  •  Essay  •  1,359 Words (6 Pages)  •  928 Views

Essay Preview: Repeatitious History - Accusations of Witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

Repetitious History

Accusations of witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950’s demonstrates the fear of an unknown threat of destruction to society. Salem Witch Trials began in 1692, when several town girls began having unexplainable convulsions and illnesses. They accused women, children, and men with different status within the community. Salem went on a feverish hunt to dispel those accused claiming they were workers of the Devil. The Red Scare started in American 1952, when Joseph McCarthy claimed to have a list of those who were a part of the Communist Party. This accusation furthered America’s fear of an invasion of communism within the government. Arthur Miller, the author of The Crucible, a play outlining the Salem Witch Trials, effectively demonstrates the parallels between the trials and the Red Scare by the extreme hysteria, the single leader, and with the list of names of the accused.

Hysteria from those suspicious of the accused in The Crucible and The Red Scare quickly spread throughout. The Red Scare hysteria started before allegations were even announced. America was faced with the unknown knowledge that “Russia had acquired an atomic bomb… China had been “lost”... Hiss had been convicted of perjury… Truman had decided to build the H-bomb… [and] Fuchs had confessed [to being a spy]” (Oakley, 201). McCarthy furthered the fear with the Blacklist, a list containing more than 200 names of known

members of the government to be communist. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller's character Reverend Parris found some of the village girls dancing in the woods. The following morning Reverend Parris's daughter, Betty and the Putnam's daughter, Ruth were found in a trance (Miller, 9 and 11). Abigail Williams, the main character started the hysteria by accusing the Parris's black servant Tituba of witchcraft. To save herself Tituba named women of low status as witches. The girls then began naming off many other women within the community to be witches. The town began fearing the girls and those accused. No one was a witch and no one was not a witch. No one was to be undermined of witchcraft. In the 1690's and the 1950's those who confessed were kept from death, but death of their social reputation succeeded their confession. Others who denied involvement were put to death. In both accounts, extreme hysteria was established immediately after accusations began. Arthur Miller compares the hysteria of the Red Scare to that in The Crucible to show the repetitive acts of believing before proper justice was established.

Abigail Williams and Joseph McCarthy both had motives to allege innocent people of immoral acts. Abigail Williams and the other girls felt low in status and ignored. Once witchcraft was spoken, Abigail’s many motive was to kill Elizabeth Proctor because Abbi wanted John Proctor after their affair, but she also wanted community fame. When Tituba claimed to be in communications with the Devil, Abigail screams “...I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced with the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus…” (Miller, 24). She makes the men notice her and believe she has been saved by God and brought to expel those associated with the devil. She quickly rose to fame within the community being told she was a finger of God, blessed by God, and a pure child of God. Salem Village was falling into the hands of teenage girls. Abigail’s fame began to break once she accused a priest's wife. The men realized her hoax. She fled Salem at night out of fear of persecution for her lies. Joseph McCarthy’s communist scare was back by the World’s events. It seems as if the events were falling right into place for him. He rose to fame after his accusations of over 200 “known communist” within the government, journalist, professors, and private citizens. His motive was to be elected back into the Senate through his love of manipulation. (Oakley, 207). His fame was advanced by the society who was so easily exploited without pure evidence. McCarthy’s acts was tried to be disproved by Senator Millard E. Tydings and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but sadly McCarthy took this a publicity to further the accusations with communism with the government officials. The outbreak of the the Korean War added ammunition that the government was trying to kill off the young men. McCarthy again was backed by the nation. Only after the Rosenberg case did society begin to realize the horrors behind the accusations. It stirred the thought of the athleticness of McCarthy’s claims. McCarthy is now known as the greatest threat to the American people of that time because he made the people focus on the society then the nation’s predicament with war (221). Arthur Miller’s character Abigail, demonstrates



Download as:   txt (7.9 Kb)   pdf (114.9 Kb)   docx (10.7 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2016, 01). Repeatitious History - Accusations of Witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950. Retrieved 01, 2016, from

"Repeatitious History - Accusations of Witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950" 01 2016. 2016. 01 2016 <>.

"Repeatitious History - Accusations of Witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950.", 01 2016. Web. 01 2016. <>.

"Repeatitious History - Accusations of Witches in the 1960’s and Communist in the 1950." 01, 2016. Accessed 01, 2016.