In the early 1950s, America was thrust into a period of uncertainty and fear. Senator Joseph McCarthy had insinuated that the United States government was infiltrated with communists. As a result of this imprudent statement, Americans often reacted in superstitious mistrust. Everyone became suspect. In order to eradicate or at least lessen the public paranoia, Twentieth Century American author Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as a warning of what could happen to innocent individuals in the 1950s.
It seems quite by chance that Miller visited Salem, Massachusetts in the spring 1952. Some 250 years before, Salem had been the setting of the most tragic legal miscarriage of justice in the United States history. In the article, "Why I Wrote The Crucible,- originally published in The New Yorker, Miller explained how he came to write the drama:.
"The Crucible- was an act of desperation. Much of my .
desperation branched out. I suppose, from a typical.
Depression "era trauma "the blow struck the mind by.
Rise of European Fascism and the brutal anti-Semitism it .
had brought to power. But by 1950, when I began to think.
of writing about the hunt for Reds in America, I was .
motivated in some great part by the paralysis that had set.
in among many liberals who, despite their discomfort with.
the inquisitor's violations of civil rights, were fearful, and .
with good reason, of being identified as covert Communists.
if they should protest too strongly The Red hunt, led by.
the House of Committee on Un-American Activities and by .
McCarthy, was becoming the dominating fixation of the .
American psyche I had read about the witchcraft trials in.
College, but it was not until I read a book published in .
1867 "a two volume, thousand page study by Charles W.
Upham, who was then the mayor of Salem "that I knew I .
Had to write about the period . I visited Salem for the .