The Crucible (1953), written by leftist atheist playwright Arthur Miller, is an attack on American Christianity and the fight against communism. It is a fictionalized portrayal of the Salem Witch Trials and serves as an allegorical attack to the anti-communist agenda of Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy. The plot follows the protagonist John Proctor (a devout Christian, though unable to recite the Ten Commandments, but this may be due to his previous adulterous affair with Abigail Williams, a hysterical primary accuser) and his wife Elizabeth Proctor, along with several other members of the community, as they are systematically prosecuted for witchcraft. Although officially claimed by Miller to be a historical period piece to cover his subversive agenda, it should be noted that in real life, Abigail Williams would actually have been 12 years old at the time of the play, not 17, and there was no record of her ever interacting with John Proctor (who likewise would have been in his fifties to sixty years old during this time) beyond living in the same community, let alone conducting an extramarital affair with him.
Although Miller's targets may have been conservative, the kind of behavior he attacks is also exhibited by liberals, especially those quick to condemn people for politically incorrect statements.
- See Arthur Miller's Why I Wrote "The Crucible" in Life & Letters, The New Yorker, Issue Date 1996-10-21