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Since you are writing an essay on The Crucible you might want to compare the events to peer pressure. For example, some people went along with the Salem Witch Trials because the powerful people in the community were instigating or perpetuating them. The same thing might happen in your school if the popular kids are ostracizing certain kids and others go along to fit in.
In addition, look into the relation between The Crucible and the anti-communist crusade Joseph McCarthy undertook. The senator from Wisconsin believed that Communists had significantly infiltrated many walks of American life, and consequently he went after these people. Many people were accused of activities they did not do or believe in. However, many were blacklisted in their fields because of strong accusations against them. The crusade did somewhat hinder the advancement of communism as a force in America. The Crucible, many believe, is Arthur Miller's indictment of the McCarthy hearings. A number of careers were ruined by McCarthyism.
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