|Miller used the tale of the infamous witchcraft trials that had been held in Salem, Massachusetts during the late 17th century to illustrate the devastation that can be wreaked on the innocent by the misuse of one or more of these forces. |
The hysteria that occurred in Salem after a series of events that appeared to be inexplicable by other than supernatural means was used by Miller to indict the excesses of McCarthyism that was sweeping the United States in the 1940s and 50s. The climate of fear created by the accusations of communism at that time cost many of his friends their careers - and some their lives. Truth was the casualty, as always in such circumstances.
The young girls in Salem, innocent – and not so innocent –start playing games that turn into something dangerous, both to themselves and those around them. To disguise what they have been doing they tell lies and soon begin to believe those lies. What is real and what merely appears to be real? Some know but not all are telling…or listening.