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Arthur Millers The Crucible focuses on the fearful relationship between society and the individual Readings on Arthur Miller 145 Individual being a witch in the seventeenth century or being a Communist in the 1950s Miller states The Crucible is involved essentially with the social relations of human beings and consequently the predominant emphasis in writing the play was on the conflict Readings on Arthur Miller 145 Although both situations coincide with inquisition and mass hysteria they conflict at the fact that Communism among Americans existed in the 1950s while witchcraft among seventeenth century Salem townspeople failed to be an actuality In both time periods interrogation was present As in 1692 the inquisition of witches and wizards had its controversies so did the oppression on Communist party members in the 1950s Un- American Activities House Committee on Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia Witchcraft Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia Twenty people were hanged for not confessing to such heresies Similarly large numbers of Americans lost their jobs and materials or were imprisoned if failed to be a true American What is shown in both eras was the existence of what we can call unsubstantiated evidence and suffering of being accused Interrogations and hearings such as these stirred up suspicion and fear causing mass hysteria Both eras suffered from this Those accused of witchcraft and wizardry saved themselves by confessing and then by accusing others To be arraigned all you need is some insignificant amount of proof by a townsperson or accused witch many of which accusations were only revenge of past incidents or to appease the court Likewise this happened during the McCarthy Era Knowing the wrong person affected your standing possibilities of whether you would be arraigned or not Therefore everyone feared each other if you were or were not a suspect Pointing fingers was the only way to show your sincerity to the protection of the country Mass hysteria was a result
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