McCarthyism in America was a time of fear and distrust in fellow Americans. These feelings were also felt during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Through his subtle connections, Arthur Miller's play The Crucible efficiently shows the tyranny of consensus during the Salem Witch Trials, and during the period of McCarthyism. Although The Crucible debuted in 1953 while, McCarthyism was still at large it was not very effective in providing social commentary and promoting change.
Miller wrote about the injustices against the disensus during the Salem Witch Trials. His focus was on the tyranny of consensus. This is when the consensus rules by fear of death. Therefore people like Proctor confess to being a witch and are able to live instead of dying for something they did not do. Another example of this is the courts frame of mind of being guilty until you are proven innocent. This can be seen when Danforth, says to Francis Nurse " But you must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there is not road between"(94). This illustrates the consensus's power. Just as in McCarthyism, if someone spoke out against McCarthy he or she would be considered a communist. If Francis Nurse spoke out against the court he would instantly be prosecuted for contempt of court, regardless of whether or not his evidence against the court was correct or not. Also, when Proctor admits to lechery with Abigail and Elizabeth Proctor is brought into court to see whether Proctor is telling the truth, but they do not allow Elizabeth to look at him or at Abigail. This permits her from being able to know what is going on. .
evident at the end of Act I when the girls started accusing people from he outside of the original town consensus. These girls were believed when they cried out names. Using the rhetoric of consensus Abigail and the other girls who were once outside of the consensus were immediately brought in.