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How was the Red Scare similar to the events of "The Crucible?"

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Quick Answer

"The Crucible" is a fictionalized account of the famous Salem witch trials, which caused public mass hysteria leading to false accusations; conditions that also existed during the Red Scare, a period of American history in which the accusation of communist sympathy could lead to professional and personal destruction. The term "witch hunt" originated with the Salem witch trials, and this term can be applied to the Red Scare, also known as McCarthyism.

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How was the Red Scare similar to the events of "The Crucible?"
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In February 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed to know the names of "card-carrying" communists who worked in the U.S. State Department. This kicked off a period of paranoia and accusation known as the Red Scare, with "red" symbolizing communism. The practice of searching for and accusing people, including those guilty and innocent, of some object of public paranoia has since been labelled as "McCarthyism." This term is synonymous with the term "witch hunt," which refers to the Salem witch trials that were fictionalized in Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible."

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What prompted the hysteria during the Red Scare?

    A:

    The fall of the Russian monarchy to the Bolsheviks near the end of World War I prompted the Red Scare in the United States and other parts of the world. The idea that the lower classes could rise up and overthrow the government put fear into the minds of middle class and the institutions in power at the time.

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  • Q:

    What are some facts about the Red Scare?

    A:

    Many people aren't aware that there were two Red Scare periods: one immediately after World War I, and one during the Cold War, after World War II. The first Red Scare lasted from 1919 until 1920 and the second from 1947 until 1957.

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  • Q:

    What was the sign that Betty was bewitched in "The Crucible"?

    A:

    The sign that Betty is bewitched in the play "The Crucible" is her physical state in the first scene. She is in a coma-like state and fails to give a response to anyone. The religious leaders interpret this bizarre behavior to mean she is under the power of the devil.

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  • Q:

    What is a brief summary of "The Crucible"?

    A:

    "The Crucible" is about the Salem witch trials in 1692. Several young girls claim to be afflicted by witchcraft, starting with Reverend Paris's daughter Betty. The afflicted girls accuse people in the town of witchcraft, often choosing victims who they or their families dislike.

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