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Book Analysis

Symbolism Of Communism In Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" - Shreya Sachdev

In the 1953 play written by Arthur Miller, the Crucible, Arthur Miller explores many different themes and motifs. However, there is little symbolism in the Crucible. the one instance in which the audience does see symbolism is when the entire town of Salem becomes extremely paranoid over the use of witchcraft. The paranoia that surrounds this town is a direct symbol of the fear of communism that the United States of America was facing during the Cold War. The United States of America were anti-communist and were rivaling against the Soviet Union in order to stop the spread of communism. After witnessing what Hitler had done to much of Eastern Europe, the United States of America became increasingly worried and frightened that communism would spread to all over the world, and America would be faced to become communist too. Communism was evident in much of Europe as well as countries such as China and North Korea. Due to the fact that communism was definitely spreading, and spreading fast, the United States of America put strict measures on anybody believing in the idea of communism and practicing the beliefs and thoughts of communism. The United States of America set up the House of the Un-American Activities Committee whose goal was to hunt down any communists and punish them. This fear in the United States of America was known as the Red Scare and resulted in many innocent lives being lost or ruined due to false accusations. If the government found anybody being a communist, then they would immediately be jailed or killed. Likewise, in The Crucible, the witch trials serve as a way for the town of Salem to punish anybody who is found guilty of practicing witchcraft. Just as witchcraft is seen as evil in the town of Salem, communism was seen as evil in the United States of America. Both these societies are portrayed as narrow minded and rigid in their opinions and completely close minded to the idea of communism or witchcraft.

Shreya Sachdev