Arthur Miller wrote the play The Crucible in response to the red scare of the 1950’s, in which he was was condemned for disrespect & disapproval of the United States Congress for being unsuccessful in naming numerous individuals who had attended meetings with him. In a bid to not only secure his career as a journalist & play writer and also to alert the American people against the government misinformation & propaganda that were headed their way. The characters in the play are faced with the same tragedies & sentences that befell people during the McCarthyism trials; he uses the ‘Salem Witch Trials’ as a metaphor to draw national attention towards the doings and executioners of the McCarthyism propaganda.
What is allegory?
Allegory is the device in which characters or events represent or symbolize ideas and concepts.
Why does Arthur Miller use allegory in the Crucible?
Arthur Miller uses allegory in his play, The Crucible, to show the similarities between the Salem witch trials and the Red Scare. During the McCarthy era, freedom was a very important aspect in life; during the Salem witch trials, religion was a very important aspect of life. In both of these events, people are frightened. The Red Scare led to many people fearing others, thinking everyone was a Communist. In the Salem witch trials, witchcraft is threatening the village. Miller also wanted to show the similarity between both corrupt courts in these two events. In the Salem witch trials, all substantial evidence is through out of the window, and everything that supports witchcraft is valid. Much is the same with the Red Scare court system.