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McCarthyism-Crucible Comparison Essay

by lizbv

  • Release Date: February 12, 2019
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McCarthy – Crucible : Drawing Connections Through Time Compare/Contrast Paper

Directions: Choose one of the names listed below. Each one of these people was in some way involved with the HUAC trials. Research one of these people. Your research will be used in class during a Timed Writing Assignment for which you will compare your chosen person to someone in The Crucible , showing what Arthur Miller was trying to accomplish by writing this play during this time in history.

  • J. Edgar Hoover – FBI director; he was one of the nation’s biggest anticommunists as well as one of the most powerful. His actions with the loyaltysecurity program resulted in thousands of government workers losing their jobs.
  • Arthur Miller – wrote The Crucible in response to McCarthyism and was subpoenaed by the HUAC, believed to be against the committee since he wasn’t for it.
  • Lillian Hellman – playwright who was accused of being a communist by the HUAC and who refused to name names.
  • Senator Margaret Chase Smith (Maine Senator) – gave a speech in 1950 challenging McCarthyism.
  • Edward R. Murrow – CBS newsman that aired a show about McCarthy and showed how he was dishonest.
  • Elia Kazan – an American film and theater director who was criticized for cooperating with the HUAC.
  • Lucille Ball - an American television actress who was subpoenaed by the HUAC, possibly due to her marriage to Cuban actor, Desi Arnaz. Hisnationality may have affected this accusation, seeing as Cuba had recently been taken over by Communist dictator, Fidel Castro.
  • Walt Disney – famous for his children’s animated films and characters, Disney was questioned by the HUAC and criticized for having given the names of many of his employees.

The Crucible / McCarthyism

Timed Writing

English 303


Directions: Use your research to write a multi-paragraph essay in which you will compare (and contrast – optional) your chosen McCarthyism figure to someone in The Crucible.

  • Take ten (10) minutes to prewrite and plan your essay on this sheet. Then, you will have thirty-five (35) minutes to write your essay.


This is an assignment for a timed essay completed in class, though it can be adapted into a long-term essay assignment. It requires students to research a figure involved in the McCarthy trials and then asks them to compare/contrast that person to a character from The Crucible in order to show how this play was Miller's way of connecting the two events in time.

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