Fear In The Crucible: Echoes Of Betrayal And Harm Through History

The Shadows of Fear and Betrayal: Insights from Farewell to Manzanar

All of the authors in the text show the events people endured during The Crucible, the McCarthyism trials, and the treatment of the Japanese-Americans during WWII faced fear and betrayal that caused harm. Miller wrote the play when Senator Joseph McCarthy changed the United States into anti-communism during the Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union. Early in the year 1692, in the small Massachusetts village of Salem, a collection of girls fell ill, falling victim to hallucinations and seizures. In extremely religious Puritan New England, frightening or surprising occurrences were often attributed to the devil or his cohorts (Miller). The attack on Pearl Harbor also launched a rash of fear about national security, especially on the West Coast. Now we’ll dive into why fear and betrayal cause harm.

In Farewell to Manzanar, we get hands-on experience with fear and betrayal. Houston had said, ”He did not yet have the strength to resist it. He exiled himself, like a leper, and he drank”(J.W. et al. 7). This showed that he led himself in that state because of the rumors and what people were thinking about him. The paper they were given made them say yes yes to it or no no(Houston 28). No matter what you choose, there are always consequences to it. That’s why this ties in with fear and betrayal, and another author has something similar happen to them.

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The Crucible’s Fear: Echoes of Betrayal and Allegory

George Takei’s interview told us their first-hand experience.“What would be grotesquely abnormal became my normality in the prisoner-of-war camps. It became routine for me to line up three times a day to eat lousy food in a noisy mess hall. It became normal for me to go with my father to bathe in a mass shower. Being in prison, a barbed-wire prison camp, became my normality”(Takei 6). This tells us that he had a rough childhood and that he had to accept these conditions, even if they were harsh, because of the fear and betrayal surrounding the Japanese. Takei said when Pearl Harbor was bombed, many of the Japanese Americans wanted to get drafted to fight for America, but they were denied and called the enemy. They showed that even if they wanted to help and show their loyalty, it was useless because the fear of them turning on them lingered. Overall, It aids with the fear and betrayal they went through, and it shows.

In The Crucibles, allegory McCarthyism shows us in play form how it went.“Abigail brings the other girls into the court, and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel”(Miller, Act 2 line 53). This references the parting of the red sea as an action of God at the time of the Exodus that rescued the Israelites from the forces of Egypt. Elizabeth said that allusion to compare it to Abigail leading the girls to follow her actions, believing it will “Save” them from their punishment and destruction of their reputation. “Mary Warren, screaming it out of the top of her lungs and raising her fists. Stop it!!! Girls, raising their fists: Stop it!!”(Miller Act 2 lines 471 and 472). This shows the betrayal taking a toll on Mary as she’s in emotional distress, and her “friends” are now after her too. That’s why the Crucibles show fear and betrayal as a bad thing, but what inspired it comes from true events.

McCarthyism’s Shadows and the Redemptive Power of Understanding

For McCarthyism, it shows real-life events in ”As people began to realize that they might be condemned as Communists regardless of their innocence, many “cooperated,” attempting to save themselves through false confessions, creating the image that the United States was overrun with Communists and perpetuating the hysteria.”(Sparknotes 3). This shows how the people feared being accused of being communists and would do anything to advertise any claims on them, guilt or innocence.” liberal entertainment industry, in which Miller worked, was one of the chief targets of these “witch hunts,” as their opponents termed them. Some cooperated; others, like Miller, refused to give in to questioning. Those who were revealed, falsely or legitimately, as Communists, and those who refused to incriminate their friends, saw their careers suffer, as they were blacklisted from potential jobs for many years afterward.”(Sparknotes 3). This showed that people would be willing to ruin someone else’s life for theirs to be as it is. That’s why Mccarthyism showed fear and betrayal, but let’s go to the good things fear and betrayal brought out.

On the other hand, fear and betrayal changed things. The author said, “ When the war ended, the 442nd went back to the United States and were greeted by the president.“You fought not only the enemy but prejudice, and you won” (Takei 14). This shows that after all of the bad things that happened, the change of mind of the people honored them, raised their spirits, and now they could finally be remembered. The Fall of Manzanar shows the father being beaten up, drinking excessively, and being in a fight, but the last paragraphs have him shedding tears when he listens to Japanese songs(Houston). This shows that even though the dad might’ve seen an angry drunk in the beginning, as the author got older, she realized that her dad wasn’t all that bad, and he, too, had sensitive sides that made him like a normal being. There were a few things that they showed their best in, but still, it wasn’t enough.

The Enduring Scars of Fear and Betrayal

However, even so, the negatives outweigh the good to the point where fear and betrayal cause harm. In Farewell to Manzanar, they showed how the dad was treated, and people would harass him to no end. This shows even if they tried to compensate for their actions, the fact that still lingers is the trauma they will forever remember. In The Crucible, the ending has innocent people hanged just because they believed the devil was controlling them. This shows how believing in fears and lies can cause a good person to die a meaningless death when it all could have been prevented. That’s why fear and betrayal caused harm, as shown by all of the texts.

In conclusion, all of the authors show the events people endured during the Salem witch trials, the McCarthyism trials, and the treatment of the Japanese-Americans during WWII faced fear and betrayal. Farewell to Manzanar showed that no matter what choice you make, there are consequences you have to deal with. Why I love a Country that once betrayed me showed how fear and betrayal make things appear to be normal when it really isn’t. The Crucibles showed what it’s like for friends to betray you and how fear can make you desperate enough to turn a lie into something believable. McCarthyism showed how it can affect real people and ruin their lives, innocent or not, caused by the betrayal of people they knew and the fear of being caught and suspected. Whether it be in real life or a story, it shows the damage fear and betrayal causes. It can change things, but not all the time. It’s for a good reason. It’s important to know the impact it can cause and address the overall problem so things won’t repeat.


  1. Miller, Arthur. “The Crucible.” Penguin, 2003. (A primary source for any essay on this topic.)
  2. Bloom, Harold (ed.). “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations).” Infobase Publishing, 2008. (A collection of critical essays about “The Crucible.”)
  3. Blakesley, Maureen. “The Red Scare and McCarthyism: Its Impact on America.” History Today, Volume 49, Issue 3, 1999.
  4. Daniels, Roger. “Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II.” Hill and Wang, 2004. (This gives a comprehensive overview of the Japanese-American internment experience.)
  5. Schrecker, Ellen. “Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America.” Little, Brown, 1998. (A deep dive into McCarthyism and its impact on American society.)
  6. Takei, George. “They Called Us Enemy.” Top Shelf Productions, 2019. (George Takei’s personal account of his childhood in the internment camps.)
  7. Roach, John. “Salem Witch Trials: The Frenzy Behind The Hunt.” National Geographic, 2015.
  8. Reynolds, David S. “Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson.” Harper, 2008. (For a broader context of the era in which the Salem witch trials took place.)
  9. Haynes, John Earl. “Red Scare or Red Menace?: American Communism and Anticommunism in the Cold War Era.” Ivan R. Dee, 2000.
  10. Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki, and James D. Houston. “Farewell to Manzanar.” HMH Books for Young Readers, 2002.

Purple Hibiscus Setting: Fate’s Web In Oedipus And Adichie’s Tale

Oedipus Rex: The Gods’ Puppet and the Inevitability of Fate

In both Oedipus Rex, a play by Sophocles, and the novel Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Adichie, Oedipus, and Kambili have no control over their own fate whatsoever. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus has no control over his destiny as it is all being planned and executed by the gods who toy with his fate. In Purple Hibiscus, Kambili also has no control over her fate as she is also imprisoned by a higher force, that force being her father Eugene, who has power over everything she does and, therefore, her future. Both of these characters have no control over their futures, which is illustrated throughout each story as they are controlled by a higher force that will decide the character’s fate.

In the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, the character Oedipus can be seen demonstrating his lack of control over his destiny. Oedipus cannot fight back, for the prophecy has already been told and is to come true due to the gods who control Oedipus’s fate and, therefore, his life; Oedipus’s mind is filled with chaos as he progresses. Everything that Oedipus does was preplanned by the gods and therefore making them the ones in control. Oedipus unsuccessfully tries to change his fate. A prophet has confirmed that his destiny is to marry his mother and kill his father. He does everything he can to change that fate, but because of his parents’ actions when he was a baby, his knowledge of the people who raised him as parents is untrue. He had no say in his fate and was unable to change anything. As soon as Oedipus was born, his fate was laid by the gods, ‘To the children with whom he lives now he will be brother and father – the very same; to her who bore him, son and husband – the very same who came to his father’s bed, wet with his father’s blood’ (25). This proves that ever since he was born, he had no control because the prophecy told him exactly what would happen to Oedipus, and the gods had already planned his life rather than it going along spontaneously. Throughout this story, Oedipus tries to rebel against the gods and fight for his freedom but only provokes the prophecy, which comes true anyway. In this play, fate is responsible for the tragedy because all the actions performed by Oedipus were preplanned by the gods, and he was helpless against his fate.

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Setting in Purple Hibiscus: Kambili’s Struggle Against Overbearing Control

In the novel Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie, the protagonist Kambili has no freedom in her life and has no control over her own destiny. Every aspect of her life is controlled by her father, who chastises her harshly, and the farther she goes, the more aggressive he becomes. Kambili’s father sees her as a recalcitrant, which causes him to be more turbulent. Her lack of independence and freedom can be demonstrated in the scene where Kambili is getting her hair plaited, and she notices the bag of large imprisoned snails. It can also be seen when her Aunt suggests that she wear a skirt. The first incidence when Kambili shows her lack of freedom and control over her life is when her Aunty suggests that she should wear a skirt. She thinks to herself, ‘I wondered why I did not tell her that all my skirts stopped well past my knee, that I did not own any trousers because it was sinful for a woman to wear trousers’ (80), demonstrating how her father has taken over her life. This proves how she has no control over her destiny, as every aspect of her life is planned out by her father. Her father’s religion is preventing her from dressing freely, and while having the best of intentions, he is going about it the wrong way. This scene demonstrates how little control Kambili has and how her father even controls what she wears. The second example symbolizes Kambili and her lack of independence when she goes to get her hair plaited and finds a basket of snails.’ She picked up an enterprising snail that was crawling out of the open basket. She threw it back and muttered, ‘God take power from the devil.’ I wondered if it was the same snail crawling out, being thrown back in, and then crawling out again. Determined. I wanted to buy the whole basket and set that one snail free.’ (238) This demonstrates how she feels in her family, trapped by her father’s rule and with nowhere to go, as every time she tries to escape her father’s clutches, she is put back into place almost instantly. Kambili can relate to the snail, her being trapped by her father’s home versus when she goes to Nsukka, she is ‘crawling’ to freedom and giving her the sense that she needs to free that snail but can’t.

Final Reflections: The Predetermined Paths of Oedipus and Kambili

In conclusion, it has been proven that neither Oedipus nor Kambili has control over their fate due to a higher force, Oedipus’s being the gods and Kambili’s being her own father. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus has no control over his destiny as it is all being preplanned by the gods. In Purple Hibiscus, Kambili also has no control over her fate as she is imprisoned mentally and metaphorically by a higher force, that being her father, Eugene. We can now conclude from this information that neither characters have control over their destiny and, therefore, over their life.


  1. Sophocles. “Oedipus Rex.” This primary source is essential to understand the nature of Oedipus’s fate and how it ties into the overarching theme of destiny.

  2. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “Purple Hibiscus.” The primary source for examining Kambili’s personal struggles, family dynamics, and her predetermined life under the strict regime of her father.

  3. Dodds, E.R. “On Misunderstanding the ‘Oedipus Rex’.” This article provides a perspective on the commonly misunderstood themes of fate and free will in the play.

  4. Emenyonu, Ernest N. “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Issues of Ideology in the Constitution of the Nigerian Novel.” This paper discusses the complex ideologies at play in the novel, including aspects of fate and control.

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