In the 1950s McCarthyism ideology feared the intrusion of communism in their territory and claimed the infiltration of members of the communist party, which led to hostility. These individuals who were accused guilty were put on trial and were expected to reveal the name other communist sympathisers even without necessary proof; failure to do so leads to the death penalty (Achter,2019). Similarly, in The Crucible the Puritan society of Salem that established itself as a theocracy town with delusional prosecutions. The citizens who were accused are considered sinful, put on trial, expected to plead evil and to accuse others of conjuring with demons, and failure to blame others leads to deaths condemnation by hanging (Elisabeta,2008). In the McCarthy period, people accused of being communists while in the Crucible, citizens are suspected of being witches and practising Devils work. These lawsuits are known as the infamous cases of mass hysteria in America and Miller managed to demonstrate through The Crucible, how dangerous the theocracy society related to McCarthys system of accusations, which was very unfair that many peoples lives were destroyed because of few authoritative people (Miller, 2018).
In The Crucible and An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge The authors use comparable techniques to create different tones which in turn create very distinct reactions from the reader and audience. Both authors Miller and Bierce employ third-person narrator with a limited omniscient point of view to tell a significant idea. In The Crucible Miller uses this method to generate a sympathetic tone to communicate the story of people of Salem who accused and condemned each other to death. An example of John Proctor who experience death penalty due to the false witch accusation. In An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Bierce uses this method to create an analytical tone to tell the story of Farquhars experience just before death.
The Crucible is a container made of a substance that can resist superheating. Miller symbolises his play to a Crucible because of the severe test or trial that citizens of Salem go through some extremely difficult due to the false witchcrafts accusation, personal profit and envy that attract jealousy and revenge between people of Salem .There are wheels within wheels in this village, and fires within fires (Miller, 33). These are Mrs Putnam words explaining the loss of her children during an argument with Rebecca. She pointed out that something unnatural and unexplainable is happening in the village of Salem. The fact of losing many children, for Mrs Putman the death of her children cannot be the work of God and therefore, it is the work of the Devil. Miller uses this metaphor to show how people of Salem developed feelings of resentment over something believed to be wrong and how human emotion in society such as jealousy, greed and revenge can push an individual to suspect other for no reasons without evidence. An illustration of Thomas Putman motivated by envy of other people; Thomas wants George Jacobs to die so he can get piece of land and also an example of Abigail motivated by jealousy and revenge of Elizabeth Proctor, she wants Elizabeth to die so she can get John Proctor, Elizabeths husband You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor! (Miller, 26). This statement by Betty showed a self-interested desire of Abigails to have John Proctor and how evil she willing to be to get her needs to satisfy for revenge against Elizabeth. Miller presents a detail of the conflict; Abigail and John had an affair that starts to rise into the surface. This scenario in Act one shows a vital conflict in the Village which demonstrated a malicious character of Abigail wanted to hide the fact that she drank blood to kill Goody Proctor You drank blood. She also started to accuse other of practising devil ritual to protect her family reputation in the community of Salem. An example of accusing Tituba when Mr Hale asked Abigail question Did you drink? No sir! and she made me do it! She made Betty do it! The word blood is used frequently in the Bible to signify violent death which may express the destruction of lives or salvation (the death of Christ) (1 John 1:7). In this context, Miller attracted our attention to understand how a vengeful individual such as Abigail can show an unreasonable desire for unkindness and can use ruse in a more sophisticated way to divert the attention, accuse other even to sacrifice innocent life.
The setting of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is the Southern United States, during the U.S Civil War in 1861. The Confederate had attempted to destroy the bridge; the target of Farquhars sabotage attempt to prevent the north from advancing into enemy territory becomes the platforms on which his execution staged. The Bridge may represent a transitional period in someone life; it can mean progress, connections and hope. Bridges also can suggest transitions for taking the journey from life to death A man stood upon a railroad bridge The man was engaged in being hanged. Bierce emphasis Farquhars escape thoughts during this death’ s stage which reveal how it is hopeless and painful to die in such a manner: “The hands behind his, the wrists bound with a cord.” This state of imprisonment and that of escape are largely emotional states of mind. He shows the avid human desire for freedom, which is especially ironic given that Peyton Farquhar is a slave.
In The Crucible it is now clear that hysteria is firmly holding the attention of the citizens in Salem. Fourteen people already detained, and the authority promises to hang them if they do not confess of the witchcrafts allegation brought against them by Abigail who is considered now as a saint the persons clapped in the jail for be-witchings them.(Miller, 53) Miller shows how panic reveals in the community, noticing that it turns people against one another and demonstrated how self interest and power can push an individual manipulate other to cause damage to someone life. The event created by Abigail has dramatic effect, represented in the stage direction denouncing in shouting and giving the impression of fear and misunderstanding amongst the girls.
However, Reverend Hale
Achter, P (2019) McCarthyism. American History [Internet] Available From < [ Accessed 10 May 2019].
Elisabeta, L (2008) Theocracy in the Crucible [ Internet] Available From [Accessed 10 May 2019].
Miller, T (2018) The Crucible: McCarthyism and a Historical View of Witch Hunts [ Internet] Available From < Owlcation.com/humanities/The Crucible-McCarthyism-and-a historical-view-of-Witch-Hunts> [Accessed 10 May 2019].