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Fear of Witchcraft as Metaphor in The Crucible The Crucible uses dread of witchcraft from the America of the 1600s as a metaphor for the fear of communism which was prevalent in the Us from the 1950s. Arthur Miller wanted to show that the attitudes and behaviour of those villagers of Salem were as absurd and ill-founded as the attitude and behaviour of the committee chaired by Senator McCarthy. Basically Miller utilizes the 17th century putting to present significant space between the events described and the feelings that they aroused. Following three hundred years everyone understands that witchcraft was never a threat to society and people could have a look at the way people behaved rather sensibly. The Crucible argues that communism is not a threat to American society, but that the irrational behaviour and injustice which fear of it causes is quite dangerous indeed. The Crucible is thus an attack on the anticommunist forces within 1950s America however its placing from the 1690s enables Miller to be a lot more forthright than if he'd written a modern drama. Anticommunist hysteria was really powerful at the time that a more open assault would most likely have ruined Miller's livelihood. As a piece of satire, the play works by undermining key sections of McCarthy's policies, however it's also, to a certain degree, about freedom of thought and non-conformity; the victims in both eras would be the ones who refuse to perform as most needs. Miller uses witchcraft, an 'ideology' that is no longer dreaded, to stand in for communism and that he makes the guy who stands up against the witch hunt to the hero of this drama. The play is set in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. The city is now a Puritan settlement and therefore, in theory, its religi...