Devoir de Philosophie

Places and Forms of Power- Sum up

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Indeed, through the history of the USA, American's people have looked for ennemies, or mainly scapegoats. In order to express this idea, I will use as a second document \"Village of fear\", which is an extract of \"The Crucible\", a play by Arthur Miller. The scene take place in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. This historical play shows how, in the late 17th century, Puritans started a witch hunt and killed or send to jail those who were found guilty of witchcraft. In the extract, Reverend Parris wants Abigail, his niece, to confess what she did in the forest with his daughter, because he is convinced that they were conjuring spirits. The interest of the passage lies in the power that has a wave of paranoia when it spreads around the country. Puritans were frightenned, and therefore have accused women of being witches in order to have scapegoats. If some puritans lived in total freedom, they crushed women and the population by spreading rumor of witchcraft and terrified them. Thus, in the darkest periods of the United States, some of their values were not always respected. Besides, this is a fact that recurs at another time in the history of the USA

« lived in total freedom, they crushed women and the population by spreading rumor of witchcraft and terrified them. Thus, in the darkest periods of the United States, some of their values were not always respected. Besides, this is a fact that recurs at another time in the history of the USA.   This leads me to talk about McCarthyism, an another « Witch hunt », through the movie « Guilty By Suspicion » by Irwin Winkler. The story takes place in the 50', during McCarthyism. The term has its origins during the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression against supposed communists by the House of Un-American Activities Committee. The Senator Joseph McCarthy lead this movement at the time. In the movie, the main character, David Merrill, a movie director, is returning from a trip to Europe. Back home, he finds Hollywood changed. The HUAC, wreaks havoc in Hollywood. Those whom it suspects of being communists are questioned and have only two solutions: either they resist and end up on the black list which prevent them from working, or they cooperate by giving names of their friends and other artists. In this situation, David Merrill refused to denounce people, and tries to find works during the entiere movie. But it was impossible, he was blacklisted, and the rumor spread that he was a communist. Everybody turned their backs on him, he couldn't find either money to help his family nor he was able to defend himself from the FBI which was following him everywhere. He became (paranoi) and violent. He was torn between his dream of being a wonderful movie director, and being an honest american. Finally, he refused to testify, and he was sent to prison. He is known today as being one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of people who refused to give names.   To put it in a nutshell, the link between the period of McCarthyism and the witch hunt is very important and revealing of the behaviour of the American's citizens during a period of fear. On the one hand the USA are proud of their values of freedom, but on the other hand they always have used scapegoats to avoid conflict. When Puritans were afraid, they accused women of being witches, and later in the history, when the USA were frightenned of Staline and communism, they accused artists from being communists sympathizers. This leads me to link these documents to the notion "Myths and heroes", because even if America is nowadays »

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