The Crucible and The McCarthys Hearings It is common knowledge that Author Miller wrote The Crucible as a reaction to a tragic time in our countries history. The McCarthy hearings, as they came to be known, which dominated our country from 1950 to 1954, where hearings in which many, suspected of being related to communism, where interviewed and forced to give up names of others, or they where imprisoned, and their names were black listed. There are several parallels between the McCarthy Era, and the time of the Salem which trials. One similarity one will see is what I call the scare factor. Another parallel between the two groups is the “everybody is doing it” mentality. One also sees a parallel in the lives that were ruined in both eras because of the accusations and punishments. Both those accused in The Crucible and those accused during the McCarthy hearings were found guilty with such little evidence. One would think that such wild accusations, with so little proof, would easily be dismissed. I believe the primary source for McCarthy and the accusers in Salem’s support comes from what I call the scare factor. Our country was going through a scary time, with the fear of the spread of communism on everybody’s mind. These rumors of communist in the state department sparked a hunt that many backed because they were scared. In Salem the children where acting unusually and everyone was scared. When a source for this problem was suggested, because of their fear, everyone was willing to support it. Another source of support was the get on board, or everybody is doing it mentality. Because it is human nature for one to go with the flow the people of Salem, who had religion rammed down their throats, followed their leaders, and the rest of their neighbors in the witch hunt. Those who disagreed where considered witches. They were watching out for themselves, and because of their fear, the situation escalated and more were accused. Just as those in the story, many in our nation, and government, jumped on board and backed McCarthy. Because of the Red Scare, everyone feared the thought of communism in our government. Just as the people of Salem folded and got on board, our country supported the McCarthy hearings. The situation escalated and became something our country would soon regret. The crucible is a port or vessel commonly made from some sort of a highly heat-resistant material. For centuries, people have used crucibles for melting metals, such as gold or silver, to test them for purity. The word crucible probably derives from the Latin word crux, meaning “cross” or “trial.” It is also become a word describing a severe test. The time of the Salem witch trials is deservingly referred to as a crucible. Those accused where put in a melting pot to test their purity, and they were severely tested. The innocent were punished in Salem. The same is seen in the McCarthy hearings. The innocent were considered impure, and tested. Unfairly accused their lives were ruined by the rampage that swept the nation. One can obviously see the similarities between the McCarthy period of history and the period of time in which the Salem witch trials took place. The people were scared of something, because they were told to be scared of it. Everyone backed the hunts and those who did not where accused. Due to this scare everyone desired to rid themselves of the impurities. The innocent where accused and put in a melting pot. Their careers, and lives where ruined. Another similarity the two periods of history have is the regret that America has when looking back on these tragic misfortunes.
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun – Money
A Raisin in the Sun – Money
Where money is but an illusion and all it brings are nothing but dreams, one family struggles to discover that wealth can be found in other forms. In the play “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry uses the indirect characterization of the Younger family through their acquaintances to reveal that money and materialism alone are worthless.
Living in a society where the fulfillment of dreams is based upon material wealth, the Younger family strives to overcome their hardships as they search for happiness. As money has never been a way of life for the family, the insurance check’s arrival brings each person to see the chance that their own dreams can become reality. Whether in taking a risk through buying a “little liquor store” as Walter wishes to do or in -“[wanting] to cure” as Beneatha dreams, the desires of the family depend upon the fate of Mama’s check. In the mind of Walter Lee Younger, the check is the pinnacle of all, dominating his thoughts, as he does not wait a second before “asking about money “without” a Christian greeting.” He cannot see beyond the fact that he “[wants] so many things” and that only their recently acquired money can bring them about. The idea of money and being able to hold it “in [his] hands” blinds him from the evils of society, as he cannot see that the Willy Harris’s of the world will steal a person’s “life” without a word to anyone. When money becomes nothing but an illusion, Walter is forced to rethink his values and his family’s future, realizing that there is more to living that possessing material riches.
When Walter loses his “sister’s school money,” the consequences are widespread and Beneatha sees that dream diminish before her eyes. She sees her slipping through Walter’s fingers and finds her lifelong goals changing. From the days of her childhood, she has longed “to be a doctor” and “fix up the sick.” While her family and friends do not understand Beneatha’s dream, she continues longing for the education she needs to create a successful life she desires rather than one where she is waiting “to get married.