Most of the American public did not know what communism or Marxism really was as an ideology, they simply knew that it was 'bad' and it was 'un-American,' although logically it could be argued that nothing is more un-American than prosecuting a person for holding certain political beliefs.
The tragedies of Miller's "The Crucible" and the McCarthy hearings are that good men and women, as well as fearful and ignorant people were silenced by the witch hunts. People who defended the accused were called witches themselves. This can be seen when Proctor and Mary Warren are both, at different times and for different reasons called witches. When they defy Abigail's desires, their nonconformity makes them vulnerable to being accused. Witchcraft and communism are shadowy forces in the public imagination because neither is fully understood.
Both witch hunts begin with dramatic events -- the 'fits' of the Salem girls; the take-over...
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