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Arthur Miller wrote this play as a commentary on the Red Scare that happened in the United States where people engaged in a "witch hunt" of communists. Many people were brought before the government and questioned about being a communist. They were brought in if anyone even suspected they were a communist; they were ratted out by fellow workers, friends, and brought in for any tiny communist-esque slants in their work. So, in "The Crucible" the courts and the judges would represent Senator McCarthy (who led the red scare in the senate) and the others in government who questioned people and blacklisted them from working, just like Danforth and others jailed "witches". Proctor would represent any rebellion movement against the red scare, and the voice of reason and logic against mass hysteria that often gets squelched in the craziness that accompanies any type of witch hunt. Miller used Proctor and others like him to symbolize the ulterior motives that many people had for labelling people as witches, or as communists; for example, Abby was jealous of Elizabeth and so labelled her a witch. Most of the accused in "The Crucible" can be tied back to greed, hatred, insecurities, grudges and hatred-not to actual witchcraft. Miller also felt that many of the accusations of communism were motivated by politics, fear, and personal vendettas that were given a "just" playing ground.
Those are just a couple ideas; I hope they helped.
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