What is the link between The Crucible to McCarthyism? 

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

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Even if we put aside the idea that The Crucible can be seen as Miller's response to the spread of McCarthyism, there are some definite links between both.  The Crucible speaks to the idea that authority might not be transparent.  Authority might not have the public interest in mind as much as it does the desire to substantiate its own authority.  One of the links between Miller's work and the time period of McCarthyism is how authority might have a duplicitous motive in its supposed pursuit of justice.

Another link between The Crucibleand McCarthyism is the role of fear.  It is fear that becomes the dominant atmosphere of both works.  Fear is what drives the people of Salem to believing the girls' accusations without any setting for questions.  It is also fear that drives the time period of McCarthyism, in terms of the fear of Communism.  Both settings are enabled because of individual fear, which becomes a tool to advance the agenda of the powerful over the general population.

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