Contemporary Diabolism

Contemporary Diabolism

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In his author commentary, Miller discusses the "inhuman overlay" that members of contemporary society give to forces of oppositions they wish to discredit. (See Crucible, p. 34). Contemporary Diabolism refers to the modern-day devils people react to with irrational fear. The following are cartoons that satirize this phenomenon. These cartoons expose flaws in thinking on the subject and the motivations behind the people or forces that "created" the monster in the first place.
(Respectfully stolen from Ms. Schopf's "Contemporary Connections" handout)

The Fight against Bacteria and Germs

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These are harsh times we live in. It used to be that our bathrooms and kitchens were sanctuaries where we could cut out the outside world and have peace and safety. Well, these times are long gone, because recently an invader has taken over our very homes, an invader called bacteria. These single celled fiends will give a harsh fight to give you...well...the commercials don't really mention that part. The commercials for antibacterial cleaning products play on our fears, claiming that an enemy who lives peacefully everywhere, inside you and out, will make you violently ill if you don't extinguish their existence from your kitchen and bath surfaces.

My cartoon stairizes the fight against these predators, showing a housewife attempting to fight all of these demons with some cleaning products, but has a hard time since the bacteria problem is everywhere.

This case is reminiscent of the witch accusations of the puritan era. The puritans created a mass hysteria over witches for their own personal gains, often being land/wealth, much like the cleaning product companies creating this hysteria for their own monetary gain. Since the witch epidemic isn't really a real problem, it is therefore unbeatable, much like the fight against household germs.


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I made a cartoon and tried to connect the diabolism we witnessed in The Crucible and surrounding the Salem Witchcraft Trials with diabolism in our midst today. I quickly decided that one of the best examples of a group of people in the U.S. that are commonly associated with pure evil would be Muslims. When you read the cartoon you'll notice that the word Muslim is often spelled "Muzzlum". Don't get me wrong here as I know how to spell the word, but I chose to spell it this way to convey that the characters didn't know how to pronounce or spell it also it helped to convey their general ignorance. In the end the cartoon conveys a simple message: diabolism is an overly simplistic way to offer solutions to complex problems and it is often based in misconceptions, skewed perceptions, or just plain old lies.

Demonizing Democrats

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My Cartoon was inspired by one of the many recent ads by John McCain. The ad insisted that the democrats, if elected plan to raise taxes on the average American citizen in such a way as if they were out to get them. The ad tries to portray democratic policy and Barock Obama to be destructive and harmful to the economy when really they are twisting their proposed policies to work against them and make John McCain more appealing. My picture illustrates this strategy executed by the republican party to an extreme to expose how bogus it is. This is very similar to the witch trials in that facts were twisted to demonize a certain person or group where after they were charged with witchcraft

Demonizing Democrats (again)

My addition to this topic does not include a cartoon, but rather a response to a very interesting article I found on a recent shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee which can be found here.

As shown in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, every society feels it must have a race, religion, or group of people to blame its flaws on, and modern America is no exception. Our current situation, however differs from the usual case in that instead of fearing a foreign religion or people, much of America has turned towards blaming America's flaws on the liberals.

During the Red Scare, communism was something new and radical, but the democrats have always been a part of American politics and play an important role in balancing out the government, something our nation would fall apart without. Throughout the entire history of the United States an division between the parties can be seen, but in today's neo-conservatism a definite hate of the opposing party can be seen, and it is this same hate that has divided out country into two separate warring medias and now even led to violence.

Now, most of the people involved in this modern phenomenon are not bad people, and in fact contribute a large amount of America's workforce, but when we allow talking heads like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity to convince people that its alright to blame all your problems on those who oppose you and that anyone who says anything else is anti-American we allow innocent people that we would otherwise work alongside with to make themselves our enemies. Even worse is when we allow imprtant politicians (and in the most recent case presidential candidates) to lie in public without a single word said against them we give the American people confirmation of whatever the far right wishes to say.

In conclussion, this situation is one that must be handled with caution and care, for another event like that which in Knoxville would be devestating, and the best we can do is to try to spread the truth and discourage the public babel that has been plaguing our airwaves for so long.