Discuss the emotions felt by the accused in the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism in The Crucible.

1 Answer | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In both settings, there is a feeling of helplessness that overcomes the individuals who are unfairly accused of so- called "crimes."  Miller does an excellent job in bringing out the fundamental challenge in both Salem and the McCarthyist setting:  The body that is meant to represent law and order is corrupt.  Seeing government in this light, as one controlled by personal interests instead of promoting the general welfare, is a part of the emotional dynamic that its victims experience.  It becomes evident when the accusations are starting to be leveled that Abigail is not concerned with witches, but with the advancement of her own personal agenda.  Law and order is not as important as the consolidation of her own power, and this becomes part of the experience of being accused.  Proctor fully understands why she is doing what she is doing and feels compelled to speak out against this.  When events have spiraled to a point of no return, Proctor feels passionate enough about protecting his own name, regardless of the cost.  In much the same way, individuals who were unfairly accused by the McCarthyist approach to the pursuit of what was told to be "justice," was only designed to consolidate certain individuals' power at the cost of others.  Miller's own stance against this was similar to Proctor's in that, one's name and resistance against such forces can be the only possible answer in such a predicament.

We’ve answered 317,752 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question