Playwright Arthur Miller was personally affected by two major events of 20th
century American history. In the 1930s, the Depression ruined his father financially.
During the McCarthy era, Miller himself was called before the House Un-American Activities
Committee to name people he had seen at a Communist writers' meeting. Miller refused and
was found guilty of contempt of Congress, a conviction that was later overturned. Many
critics consider The Crucible a critical commentary on McCarthy's persecution of