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Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" was written during the 1950s as a criticism of the McCarthyism that was going on in America at that time.
This was near to the beginning of the Cold War and the United States was very worried about communist expansion around the world. Because of this worry, some people also became worried about possible communists within the United States who might be working to help the Soviet Union dominate the world. Because of this, there was a "Red Scare" in which many people suspected of being communists lost their jobs and came under other forms of pressure.
In the play, Miller is arguing that the Red Scare is like a witch hunt where people who really haven't done any harm are being accused and destroyed at the whim of their accusers.
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