A theme in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, is the danger of ideology. My literary element project, The Red Noose, is a piece of artwork that aims to analyze this theme in the context of a literary work outside of the United States: in Chinese author Ji-li Jiang’s memoir, Red Scarf Girl. Miller’s play focuses on a religious ideology adhere to the Bible that opposes devilry and witchery, while Jiang’s memoir focuses on the Maoist ideology that opposes counter-revolutionary revisionists. A common cultural experience is explored between the two works: the 1950’s McCarthy era in the US and the 1960’s Chinese Cultural Revolution in China. My artwork, The Red Noose, amalgamates symbols from both works to communicate the theme:
• The red scarf symbolizes a set of ideology (in China, it represents communism).
• The drawing of the face (Jiang Ji-Li’s face on the cover of Red Scarf Girl but disoriented) symbolizes disoriented people in a society that obeys the strict ideology.
• The extended length added to the scarf helps allude the red scarf to a noose (the equipment used to hang the accused during the witch trials), symbolizing the danger of ideology.
Together, these three components communicate that governments acting in accordance with rigid and absolute ideological convictions often fall into corruption and tyranny and are dangerous to societies.