The Crucible Movie And Its Relationship With Macartism In The 50s

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The crucible movie and its relationship with macartism in the 50s


The crucible a film directed by Nicholas Hytner based on the theatrical work of Arthur Miller, written in 1952 and released in 1953, transcendent for its metaphorical form and its parallel with respect to the situation in the work based on Salem and what happened in the50 years in the United States called Macartism. (Biographies and lives, 2004-2019).


Macartism is a political attitude led by Senator Joseph McCathy. Whose internal ideology of North America that consisting of an anti -communism persecuted and hard radicalized, even covering liberal or simply progressive communists. Characterized by being surrounded by unfair testimonies, tests and judgments, causing some public characters such as Charles Chaplin or Joseph Lose under suspicion, accusations or censorship. (IES Bachiller Sabuco, 2015)

If we think about the concept of Inquisition or Cruzada we have to go back to its origin. The Inquisition (S. XIV-XV) arises with the Cathars, where after the rumor that the descendant of Jesus Christ is hidden, the Church commands them to chase them. On the other hand, the Inquisition arises with the Catholic Monarchs and the Papacy who at that time belonged to the Borja family and this being new decided to join the Catholic Monarchs in order to maintain and increase their power and prestige. With this alliance the Catholic Monarchs formed the Inquisition to their liking, providing a common element in Spain of 1482, which was religion and the struggle for it. All those who were accused of the Inquisition were seized and expropriated from their belongings, thus the order of affected minorities were the Jews followed by the Moorish and ending with the women and the latter flowed into the hunt for witchs as an exhaust means for the crisisthat was lived at that time and for the discontent and tensions of society. (Morales, 2019)

As for the historical context, in America is the Cold War, where two great powers are faced such as the USSR and the US, and also for the recent victory of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949;Causes an environment of communist hysteria to be extended, adding that at this time in the USA was going through a crisis. For all these reasons, society was submerged in a constant tension, with a collective discontent together with a fear focused through communist hysteria. Which caused accusations of espionage about falling mostly in cults such as universities;As a measure, the teachers or students themselves used to ask for surveillance. Natural. Arriving to the film and particularly Arthur Miller who fate efforts to manifest the clear similarity of communist hysteria with witch hunt, in this way I believe the famous work of "the crucible" based on the Inquisition happened in Salem. (Estévez, 2018)

If we go back to 1692 in the Salem village, accusations processes for witchcraft occurred being the most prominent in history;He began with the strange behaviors of some young people (through the manifesto of spasms, pains and hallucinations) to conclude with the idea that they were haunted, in the village supposedly attacked by witches, a chain of accusations based on own interests or simply with theEnd of freeing from the accusation itself. (Garcia, 2016)

Arthur Miller manages to capture the similarity of these two hysteria of different eras. Writing about the crusade of the Salem witches with the aim of denouncing what was happening in the 50s;In his work highlights the domain of both political and religious extremist perspectives. (Rotten Tomatoes, 2004)

If we focus on the argument of The Crucible work, the narrative can be summarized with that, at the end of the 17th century, in the city of Salem (Massachusetts), a group of girls are accused of practicing witchcraft. One of them, Abigail Williams, prosecuted for this reason, presents charges against John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth to take revenge on them, since she was John’s lover when this was her servant, and he ended up rejecting her to return with her wife. The false statement of Abigaíl Williams was only the beginning of a long chain of accusations based on quarrels among the inhabitants of Salem. Sustained with the interpretation of the haunted young women who maintained deception for fear of dams in case of confession. Many of these accusations ended in the gallows. Although the judgments were made and that he was called to an expert, Salem’s situation was getting out of control, reaching depopulation almost. (Swatch, 2005) (Wikipedia, 2019)

The social tension caused by poverty, rumors, economic crisis and clashes lead to witch hunting. Where the real argument is based on the fact that everything that is wanted, but that is not achieved, is because of evil, that is, that the devil makes it difficult for them to achieve it. The talk of a supposedly loose demon creates a fear that the court tries to abide. These brought confessions by force and the first to be accused were anyone who was different, just as the rot were being. Whose inculture was a great lock and the cause of self-defense inability. In the film we can highlight the phrase that the Court says "only God can judge" we can also emphasphrase "you are next to the court or against him" and with this despite questioning the stories of the youngest. The Court continuously with the hunt for witches so that its credibility was not questioned, thus the only way to end the witch hunt is to accuse some and eliminate them as a sign of origin of evil, in this way a social cleanIt is suppressed once it reaches the women of the high nobility. (Garcia, 2016)


We can draw as a conclusion the curious way that society has to free and face both social and economic crises throughout the history of humanity, leaving an obvious trace of a clear pattern;Based on the targeting of an imaginary evil to divert attention from a real problem that are unable to face or deal with. 

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