The American Crucible: Salem’s Witch Trials = Russian Witch-Hunt

| September 15, 2017
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“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”

~John Proctor, Protagonist in The Crucible

“Our Job as Americans and as Republicans is to dislodge the traitors from every place where they’ve been sent to do their traitorous work.”

~Senator Joe McCarthy

Introduction

This article seeks to examine how the Salem Massachusetts Witch Trials (1692-93), as narrated in American author Arthur Miller’s famous work, The Crucible (1953) compares to the modern day witch trials transpiring in America. Here, Miller compares in many ways to the witch hunt perpetuated against the Trump Family on trumped up charges of suspected Russian collusion during the 2016 Presidential Election. My review essay will also explore some of the more impactful inspirations behind Arthur Miller’s work including the 20th Century witch hunt against the prominent Republican and legendary anti-Communist crusader, Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Act 1

The Rev. Parris, a Puritan minister, frantically searches for remedies for the illness of his daughter Betty, who lies inert on her bed from unknown causes. The year—1692 during rumors of witchcraft spreading throughout the town of Salem Massachusetts. Parris is a middle-aged widower who lives with his daughter and their black slave, Tituba, filling the neighborhood children’s minds with stories of spirits. Parris is a villainous selfish man who refuses to report his daughter’s illness because he feels it would ruin his reputation. He suspects his daughter is possessed by the devil as he remembers last night seeing Betty and his niece, Abigail (Abby) Williams, dancing “like heathen” in the forest, alongside Tituba and other girls from town. He has sent out Rev. Hale, a witchcraft expert, to investigate the cause of this matter. Abigail scoffs at this claim to her dance and says that Betty was badly frightened when Paris jumped out at them from the bushes, causing her present inertness. Parris is unconvinced at his niece, who lost her job seven months ago when Elizabeth Proctor discovered Abigail was having an affair with her husband, the farmer John Proctor.

Enter Mrs. Ann Putnam, nicknamed Goody Putnam, a frenzied wife of Thomas Putnam, a greedy landowner, both are fearful that witchcraft has seized the town. Their daughter Ruth is ill as well, and the couple leave with Parris to recite psalms at a local church. Abby threatens to cause trouble for anyone talking about their witchcraft activities. As a couple of maids leave the room, John Proctor enters and mentions the matter of witchcraft to Abigail, who denies it all and is instead more interested in rekindling memories of their past love affair.

Just as John tells Abigail that he no longer has any feelings for her, Betty regains full consciousness and starts whining loudly. Hearing this, Parris and the Putnams rush into the room with the elderly Rebecca Nurse and old Giles Corey, who attempt to sooth Betty while trusting that God will provide a solution. Putnam argues that the Devil is to blame, while Proctor criticizes Putnam for imposing his beliefs on the town. The Rev. Hale is unable to awake Betty, who has lapsed back into unconsciousness, as Abigail blames Tituba for consulting with the Devil and cries out the name of citizens she has seen with the Devil. Betty awakes, and along with Abigail, echoes Tituba’s condemnations.

The Crucible, 1996 Movie poster featuring John Proctor and Abigail Williams.

 Act 2

A week later, John Proctor arrives home from his fields to find his wife Elizabeth being cold toward him. Elizabeth feared he was at the Salem courts where their servant Mary Warren is a witness in the witchcraft hearings, and wants John to report Abigail to the court since she told John that the whole witch scare is a hoax. When he hesitates, Elizabeth accuses him of still having feelings for Abigail. Mary returns and passes on the news that Elizabeth is now suspected of witchcraft in the court. Elizabeth now sees that Abigail wants her dead so that she can replace her. Feeling ashamed, John decides to go to the court in order to prove to Elizabeth that he no longer has any feelings for Abigail.

The Rev. Hale arrives as part of his proposed duty to test Christian beliefs of those who have been accused in court, and is confident that the court is the solution to the Devil’s problems in Salem. He questions Proctor’s low Church attendance and asks him to recite the Ten Commandments. John recites all but one—adultery. Rebecca’s husband, Francis Nurse arrives to the court with Giles Corey and shock everyone with news that their wives have been arrested. Hale is troubled since he knows the good character of these women, and his belief remains unshaken until an official for the court: Cheever, enters with a warrant for Elizabeth’s arrest.

She has been charged with the attempted murder of Abigail with a long pin that very night. As proof, Cheever seizes Mary Warren’s doll and finds a long pin inside. Mary testifies that the doll and pin are indeed hers. Proctor enraged by this, tears up the warrant and tries to prevent Elizabeth’s departure, but is calmed by Elizabeth who willingly goes off in chains with Cheever. Hale is shaken by this, but still clings to the idea that a hidden evil has caused these occurrences. Proctor pushes Mary to tell the court what she knows, who tells him that the girls know of his adultery with Abigail. John now knows that he most sacrifice himself to save his wife.

Art depicting Abigail’s malevolent manipulation over the innocent victims of the Salem witch trials

Act 3

5 weeks later, John Proctor and Mary Warren along with Francis Nurse and Giles Corey arrives in court to see Judge Danforth and his assistant Judge Hathorne to attempt to prove that the girls are lying about the claims of witchcraft. Corey presents a statement accusing Putnam of pushing his daughter to cry out against a citizen so that Putnam could purchase the man’s forfeited property. But Corey refuses to name his witness, since he knows the man will be jailed. As Proctor presents Mary Warren’s deposition, Danforth summons the other girls to face her. Abigail reports that Mary is wrong in claiming that she and the other girls are falsely representing witchcraft and are only pretending to be possessed. To put a stop to the hysteria, John calls Abigail a whore and admits to his adultery, hoping to expose her motives.

Danforth testing John’s motives, summons Elizabeth to see why she fired Abigail. Not knowing that John confessed to his adultery, the honest Elizabeth decides to lie about his affair, believing that this will save him. In Danforth’s eyes, this condemns her husband. Hale attempts to plead with Danforth on Proctor’s behalf, but he is blocked out by the girls’ hysterical shrieks of demonic possession. Claiming that they see Mary in the shape of a bird, threatening them, the girls run wild in the court and Mary breaks down. Danforth accuses Proctor of being in league with the Devil and condemns him to death. Proctor cries out against the blatant ignorance of the court.

Act 4

The morning of Proctor’s execution, 3 months later, Danforth and Hathorne find that Parris has allowed permission to Hale to pray for those who will hang for the witchcraft. Parris begs the Judges to pardon Proctor, and informs them that Abigail and Mercy have fled town, having stolen all of his money. Danforth, unwilling to allow the court or himself to appear weak, refuses to pardon anyone, despite the new evidence to Proctor’s innocence. The court sends Elizabeth to convince John to confess to witchcraft in order to prove the court’s fraudulent findings in the matter. Hale, having lost faith in the courts, pleads with her to get John to lie and save his life.

Poster depicts Elizabeth Proctor as victim to the uncontrollable hysteria and religious fanaticism of the Salem Witch Trials.

When John and Elizabeth are alone, she tells him that Giles Corey has been tortured to death. John asks Elizabeth what he should do, and when she says that she wants him alive, he reluctantly agrees to confess. When Danforth questions John’s confession, he refuses to accuse anyone else, particularly Rebecca Nurse. He signs the confession but refuses to surrender it to the court as he doesn’t want his lie to go public; God has seen it and no one else should. Finally, Proctor realizes he cannot live with this lie, cannot ruin his good name, or raise his sons to be men if he lies. He tears up the confession and finds goodness in his action. Despite the final pleas of Parris and Hale to reconsider and confess, Proctor walks away calmly to his execution.

 

Witch hunt against Senator Joseph McCarthy

Arthur Miller’s enduring tragedy The Crucible (1953), based on actual events that occurred in Salem Massachusetts, is embedded deep within America’s political roots and History. Miller’s work was primarily inspired by the political witch hunt against Wisconsin Republican Senator and American icon, Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), famous for his one man crusade against the evils of Communism festering in the U.S and abroad beginning in the early 1950’s. My Father, Professor Ellis Washington, is a major admirer of the late Senator, having written multiple articles in his honor, dedicating a beautiful Requiem to memorialize Sen. McCarthy’s outstanding legacy and courageous accomplishments in exposing traitors in America—hundreds of names of communists, communist sympathizers as chronicled by conservative writer, Ann Coulter. Much like John Proctor in The Crucible, Senator McCarthy was a victim of a political witch hunt by vicious Progressive Democrats in America during the emergence of the Cold War and America’s confrontation with preventing the spread of Communism by the Soviet Union. In his article, my Father states the following about McCarthy’s proud stance to weed out anyone suspected of Communist ties or sympathizing with the Soviet Union in America,

“McCarthy was a man of singular vision, an authentic American who with irrepressible zeal and courage sought to root out communists, communist sympathizers and spies in the State Department, the Treasury Department, the military and in other areas of the government – but also in Hollywood, the unions, the academy and throughout American society.”

Senator McCarthy between the censorship of the Fake Media and corrupt politicians

My Father explains that Senator McCarthy deeply loved American principles and was so very persistent in his efforts to expose the treachery of Communism because he had a profound desire to defend his nation from threats, both domestically and abroad. He finalizes his piece by stating that without a Senator McCarthy paving the path to defeat Communism on a global stage, America would have never elected Ronald Reagan as the 40th President, “who 30 years later would strike the mortal blow against the Soviet Union and worldwide communist expansion, saving untold millions of lives”, according to my Father’s article. Yet, sadly McCarthy does not have any stature or memorial devoted to him in Washington, nor does he receive the proper recognition or respect that he rightfully deserves by the Media or politicians, many of whom are fearful or vengeful toward his enduring Legacy of exposing traitors in the very sectors of society these very Progressives dominate and corrupt today.

 

Witch Hunt against the Trump Family

There are many parallels with Arthur Miller’s story and the hysteria of with hunts even in modern times. In today’s America, one cannot turn on the TV without hearing an entire segment of any news outlet devoted to President Donald Trump’s fictional connection to the Russian government, termed by the Mainstream Media as: “Russian collusion”. The Democrats in Washington, D.C., Deep State Obama/Clinton holdovers and elitists in the MSM (Fake News) have all combined efforts to perpetuate a false narrative hoax against President Trump since the FBI opened an investigation in July 2016 based on false allegations made involving the Trump Campaign suspected of colluding with the Russian government shortly after Trump won the Republican Primary Election.

Similar to the witch hunt investigations of the Danforth court against those suspected of witchcraft in The Crucible, former FBI Director James Comey (inspired by the Left and the corrupt firm Fusion GPS) and Comey’s best friend, Robert Mueller began a multi-faceted investigation as measure to launch a witch hunt against the Trump Family suspected of illegal Russian ties during the 2016 Election. The investigation focuses on any communications made between Trump Campaign officials and operatives for the Russian government along with intercepting any financial records and collaborations through the Trump Organization with any involved Russian official. At the center of the hysterical investigation/witch hunt, President Trump represents John Proctor, who has been wrongfully associated with illegal relations with the Russian government, a ludicrous claim that the chief investigator Robert Mueller has yet to prove after over a year of fruitless allegations.

The witchcraft that Proctor is suspected of equals the collusion Trump is believed to have made with Russia, despite Proctor being proven innocent by Parris in Act 4 of the story after exposing the entire investigation to be a hoax, just as the Trump-Russia story has been exposed by many as a lie to enrapture the Trump Presidency into a scandal. This, so that the Democrats can have a clear path forward in gaining the Majority in both houses of Congress, while providing a “reliable” claim as to why Trump should be impeached.

This matter was also inspired by the fact that Trump “invited” Russia to hack Hillary Clinton and the Democrats when he joked last July that the suspected Russian government (through WikiLeaks and DNA polling expert, the now deceased Seth Rich) released the 30,000 emails Clinton had deleted from her illicit private server. This relates to how Proctor was set up from the start by Abigail Williams, who represents the wicked, duplicitous intentions of the Democrats seeking to upend the Trump Administration by nullifying the 2016 election and rendering Trump’s victory and subsequent policies illegitimate. Abigail (figuratively speaking) stabbed Proctor in the back for dumping her after their affair, just as she went after Proctor’s wife Elizabeth by setting up a false narrative that she was seeking to kill her with a pin. This relates to how Progressives and even “independent” investigators in the matter are constantly attacking President Trump’s family, most notably Donald Trump Jr., who is being forced to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the near future on the legitimacy of a meeting he had with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Investigator Robert Mueller represents The Crucible’s duplicitous Judge Danforth and the self-righteous Hathorne, who stubbornly pushed the false punishments of the witch hunt against those suspected of witchcraft to the bitter end, despite when Parrish exposed the entire matter to be a ridiculous hoax perpetuated by his niece, Abigail. Like Danforth of 1692, Mueller of 2017 is blinded by his arrogant ambitions to make a name for himself (he wanted to be Trump’s original Attorney General) in not providing a clear and fair investigation into the matter, but in bringing down President Trump and appeasing the wicked intentions of Congressional Democrats and RINO Republicans as his close friend James Comey did by exonerating Hillary Clinton before the results of the investigation against her 30,000 leaked emails were even close to complete. Thus, Mueller will stop at nothing until President Trump is exposed as guilty in colluding with the Russians, despite having virtually no evidence and legal legitimacy in his investigation, just as Judge Danforth sought Proctor’s unjust claim to be guilty of witchcraft for the sole purpose of ruining Proctor’s good name to save his own.

The REAL collusion between Obama, Comey, and Mueller is demonstrative of how the Russian-collusion story was rigged against Trump from the start as a Democrat Party False Flag and Freudian Psychological Projection (blaming others for what you yourself are guilty of).

In conclusion, all patriotic Americans must never forget the powerful legacy of Senator Joe McCarthy, who stood strong and fearlessly against exposing the many traitors among Democrats, Republicans, and media personalities of his day that had ties to Communism. McCarthy, like Trump is today, was a victim of a political witch-hunt against him for his valiant efforts to expose Communist corruption, just as Trump is single-handedly exposing the wanton corruption of the Fake News Media, Globalists, and Progressives seeking his downfall. Like Proctor’s proud legacy to die for the Truth, holding his head high with pride to the gallows, so too was Senator Joe McCarthy, who never cringed from the many attacks thrown against him and instead stood tall and proud behind his crusade against Communism. Do not be fooled by the false witch hunt and duplicitous rhetoric of Russian-Trump collusion perpetuated daily by the Mainstream Media networks like (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Huffington Post, NY Times, Washington Post, etc.), all in cahoots with the Democrats efforts to regain political dominance in the 2018 elections. We the people must be ever vigilant and must expose the treachery of the witch hunting and instead arm ourselves against misinformation permeating America’s press, academy, and houses of government, while abiding by the prophetic words of wisdom spoken by Senator McCarthy, a true but forgotten American Hero—


*N.B: This essay is based in part on a synopsis of Arthur Miller’s tragedy: The Crucible, contained in, Dr. W. John Campbell, Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics (Fall River, 2000), pp. 150-158. See also, Encyclopedia of Britannica, containing various scholarly articles examining The Crucible. Professor Ellis Washington’s WND.com article, Requiem for Senator Joseph McCarthy.

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Category: Socrates Corner

About the Author ()

Stone Washington is the son of Ellis Washington and the Website Administrator and Managing Editor for Ellis Washington Report. Stone is a Junior History Major at Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina, home of the 2016 College Football National Champions. All of Stone's articles can be found under the Socrates Corner section of the website, and often offer a critical analysis on prominent works of classical literature and its correlations to American history and politics. Some of Stone's most popular articles include: 1915-2015-100th Anniversary of Booker T. Washington, Atlas Shrugged, America Slouched - The Galt/Trump Revolution, and Justice Clarence Thomas, Generation Z, and Me. Friend him on his Facebook page, also Twitter @StoneWashington and Instagram. Contact Stone at his email: Stonebone20@att.net.

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