Criticism The Corrupt Politics By Arthur Miller

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It was the time of McCarthyism, 1953. Fear of Communism had reached a hysteria, and the nation was consumed by the widespread terror of Communism and its sympathizers. In this period of lost trust and friendships, an American playwright Arthur Miller felt so personally affected by the accusations and mass hysteria that he traveled to Salem by himself and began writing The Crucible.

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In this play, Arthur Miller parallels and criticizes the corrupt politics of the era by inserting characters who use logical fallacies in order to show the flawed reasoning behind the Salem witch trials and the Red Scare. One of these logical fallacies exhibited throughout the play is ad hominem, where instead of using evidence to back up an argument, an irrational personal attack is used to discredit the accused. Either out of malice or otherwise, the people who rely on this logical fallacy as evidence do not have the intent of proving the truth, but to justify their beliefs. In The Crucible, where piety is greatly valued, Reverend Parris, exclaims that Proctor is […] a Christian that will not come to church but once a month! (III,118).

Parris, who is depicted as weak, paranoid, and self-centered, avoids the argument by questioning Proctorr’s Christian sincerity. Being an authority figure of the court, he gains advantage against his opponent this way, wanting others to see Procter as an enemy of the court and discredit his arguments for being un-Christian. Parris by using this weak argument against Proctor, rather than addressing the issues, only shows his lack of ethics and sense of duty to seek the truth. Another example of this would be the court being willfully ignorant to unrelated facts. Without hard evidence or proof, the court links two irrelevant events together as evidence, creating a false cause and effect fallacy. Mary Warren, an accuser of the trials and the servant of John Proctor,

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