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When Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953, America was at a state of unrest. Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee were spreading fear and hysteria using their Communist "witch hunts." Miller wished to tackle the field in a means that would not intentionally denounce the hearings, and with his prior understanding of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, he generated the allegory, and The Crucible was born. By examining the universality of this subject of the drama and its own tragic elements, it will be apparent the Crucible is Arthur Miller's greatest achievement. The Crucible was not as instantly effective as Death of a Salesman as "its merits were initially recognized by the notoriety of its most obvious theme. The Salem witch trials of 1692, was distractingly applicable to what's been known as the witch hunts of the 1950's" (American Writers 156). On the other hand, The Crucible has survived and is always revived since "the play transcends mere topicality" (Matlaw 175). While the obvious link between the Salem witchcraft trials and the "Red Scare" is apparent to anyone who reads the drama with any understanding of background, The Crucible is not just an allegory of America in the 1950's, however a possible allegory for any time and any location because the themes of "betrayal, denial, rash judgment, self justification are distant neither in time or place" (Bigsby xvi). The ability of the play does not lie in the social or political themes, but rather "a report on this debilitating power of guilt, the seductions of energy, the faulty nature of the individual as well as the society to which the individual owes allegiance" (Bigsby xxiv). The power of John Proctor's guilt about his adultery pushes.