Abigail Williams And The Connections To Mccarthyism in The Crucible
Everyone has lied at some point in their lives, but usually not a big lie that could cost someone's life; once one thing is said about it lies are always exposed, revealing the truth beneath them. Abigail Williams is a fifteen year old girl that was one of the initial accusers about witchcraft and the Salem Witch Trials. Abigail starts a lie that what happened in the woods was witchcraft, and once everyone thinks that it is witchcraft Abigail starts accusing other innocent people. In McCarthyism, it is the government trying to “rat” out all the communists names, but is accusing innocent people, just like Abigail trying to reveal all of the ̈witches ̈. When people would be accused in court, they would say their friend's name out of fear which would lead to this person being questioned. Arthur Miller uses Abigail Williams is lying in the courtroom and to others in The Crucible to show the lying and unfair treatment of McCarthyism; there are many situations where Abigail Williams lies to try and protect herself from getting in trouble and blaming innocent people for witchcraft.
In act one when Parris found the girls in the woods, dancing, Abigail tried to blame it on witchcraft, just like Joseph McCarthy started the fear of communism using this fear to increase his own influence. Once everyone finds out about this in the woods, she attempts to hide her behavior because it would reveal her affair with Proctor and Abigail claims “You loved me John Proctor”. Abigail doesn't want to confess to what happened in the woods and that she loves John Proctor and tried to cast a spell on his wife in the woods. Joseph McCarthy initiated the Red Scare, and in the book Abigail initiated the Salem Witch Hunt because she had a fear of witchcraft. She did this by accusing all of the innocent people and Tituba as being witches and that he made her put that spell on Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail doesn't want people to judge her actions so Abigail says “What look do you give me? I’ll not have such looks”. The start of the chaos was implemented by Abigail when Parris found the girls dancing in the woods. She lies to try and cover up the fact that she had an affair with John Proctor and that she loves him. If people try and tell the truth about what actually happened in the woods Abigail threatens them with a “pointy reckoning”. Abigail's start and fear of the Salem Witch Hunt is very similar to Joseph McCarthy and the start of the Red Scare and fear of communism in America.
The Red Scare was the widespread fear of Communism, and the rise of Communism, and that resembles the fear of witchcraft in the book and how it was a big fear of people being accused of witchcraft. Abigail accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft so she can get into trouble and she can marry John after Elizabeth is executed. In McCarthyism the government feared that communism would spread way too fast. They started to accuse innocent people and arrest them thinking that they were a communist. The same thing happened in the book. When all the girls were found dancing in the woods Abigale lied about the whole situation. When Abigail was found in the woods, she claimed that Tituba used witchcraft on them and made them do those things. Innocent people started being accused of witchcraft, so then the Salem Witch Hunt started. This was when 19 people were suspected to be witches b even though they were innocent. Miller uses Abigail to symbolize Joseph McCarthyism who technically started the Red Scare.
Therefore Miller used Abigail Williams to symbolize Joseph McCarthy in the book. Abigail draws the reader's interests throughout the book by all of her suspicious actions, and how hysteria from one character can cause so many other characters their life. Miller had Abigail and Joseph take the same role, but used it over a different topic of discussion. Overall, Miller used Abigail Williams to symbolize the start of the Salem Witch Hunt. Connecting this to McCarthyisimm, Joseph McCarthy had the initial idea for the start of it and so did Abigail Williams had the initial idea to start the Salem Witch Hunt.