Themes in “The Crucible”
The play The Crucible introduces us to some vital insights by the themes presented throughout it. One of these themes is that fear and suspicion are infectious and can produce a state of general hysteria that results in the destruction of public order and rationality. This theme is displayed in the past in Hollywood as well as Salem. These two themes displayed in The Crucible are applied to today’s life as well as in past historic events.
First off, in order to understand the theme of fear and suspicion being infectious and producing a general hysteria that results in the destruction of public
order and rationality, one can look back in time at the communist infiltration in Hollywood in the mid 1900"tms. during the Salem witch trials were similar to the actions taken by the United States toward communism in Hollywood. All of the director and screenwriters who were accused of being communists were questioned and ordered to name others. In addition, the actions of the community in Salem, MA. During this period of time, communism was thought by some to be the answer to depression, but to most of the United States it seemed to be an enemy to the order of their society. Fear and suspicion are two very infectious emotions and can instantly contaminate a community or even an entire society. Many innocent people were arrested or even condemned to death by hanging once the fear of witchcraft and satanism were introduced by the young girls of the community. The government then decided to regulate the Hollywood directors. All of this havoc was in turn caused by fear and suspicion. During this period of hysteria 324 very talented people were blacklisted from Hollywood. The United States"tm fear of this caused the people to be suspicious of Hollywood, believing that some directors were broadcasting communist propaganda in their theatrical releases. The citizens as well as the government were very cautious toward "Red Scare" or "Russiaphobia" as it was called. In conclusion, the theme of fear and suspicion in society is threaded into The Crucible. Suspicion of witches broke loose on everyone in the village resulting in many deaths and irrational accusations.