The girls blamed many people of the town of being witches and caused conflict all over the village. People in the village had power by influencing others to lie in order not to receive the consequences of witchcraft. Abigail shows power in the play by influencing the girls and what to say and do. She threatened all the girls she will hurt them if they open their mouth and say the truth. Abigail threatens, “Let either one of you breathe a word, or the edge of the other thing and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will being a pointy reckoning that will shutter you.”(Act 1).
Samuel questioned the girls until they eventually told him that his slave Tituba was a witch. The girls also named Sarah Osbourne as well as Sarah Good as the ones tormenting them. On March 1, 1692, Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osbourne were arrested for practicing witchcraft. Tituba confessed to having made a pact with Satan, causing a psychological dam to brake, releasing a torrent of emotion and hostility on the part of the girls and shortly thereafter on the part of the entire local community.9 The start of the accusations by the girls also initiated the executions. Over 150 men and women were accused and arrested for witchcraft and some were executed.10 The turning point for the Salem Witch Trials was the mass execution that took place on Sept. 22, 1962.11 (pg81-113) The Puritans, the court and even the Reverend were realizing that they made a mistake.
In the play Abby tries to do witchcraft to kill John Proctor's wife Elizabeth. She almost gets caught doing it so she accuses many people of bewitching her and got many people hanged. She accuses Elizabeth of bewitching her to kill her. The court will not kill her because she is pregnant but John Procter ends up being hanged because he was accused. In the play Elizabeth the example of good.
With her lying about being in the woods, all the way down to Goody Proctor, this never would have started without Abigail’s deceit. When accusing Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft she claims “Goody Proctor always kept poppets” (108). She does this so her whole plan can come together. The judges are already believing her dishonest stories so she digs deeper and tells more lies. When police are investigating Abigail’s stabbing incident, Abigail quickly blames Elizabeth and testify “it were your wife’s familiar spirit” (78).
The people were humiliated in front of everyone because they used the 5th amendment and decided to not answer anything they were asked. Therefore, we know that Arthur Miller used the accusations and punishments in the play, to symbolize the Red Scare. During the Red Scare, there were many accusations, people, punishments, and trials. Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, wrote this play as an allegory to demonstrate what happened back in the 1950’s with the spread of Communism. Arthur Miller wanted to talk about the Red Scare and used the Salem Witch Trials to explain what happened through an allegory.
When Betty says “You did, you did! You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor” (Miller 19), the reader can clearly determine that Abigail will take any measure to accomplish her selfish goals. This is as Abigail is trying to intimidate the other girls into not saying anything. “She is the consummate seductress; the witchcraft hysteria in the play originates in her carnal lust for Proctor” (Schissel 3).
People wanted him out of the church. During the Witch Trials, Parris’ teachings also revolved more around Satan and a person’s sinful ways. Lastly, the final effect of the Salem Witch Trials was that it affected many individuals personally. Reverend Parris’ reputation became so horrible, they voted him out of the church. Then, John Procter was convicted of witchcraft and hung.
Throughout the entire book of The Crucible, female citizens are being accused of witchcraft and one of the most prominent rhetorical devices used is bandwagon. “On the bandwagon” is a term used to describe people that jump on trends that most people are doing. In The Crucible, when Rev. John Hale was interrogating Tituba, she started accusing two other citizens in hopes of everyone else not accusing her of undergoing witchcraft/ being a witch. She is seen accusing the people “there is Goody Good … Aye, sir, and Goody Osburn” (47) which shows Tituba’s characterization as a liar and a deceiver.
The Crucible acts as an Allegorical tale of the events that occurred in America during the 1950s. Reverend Paris, the acting government in Salem, threatens Tituba, a slave from Barbados to “ confess” to witchcraft “or he will take her out and whip her to her death” (Miller 44). In the 1950s the House Committee on Un-American Activities blacklisted and threatened those accused of Communism to confess in the same way that the government of Salem threatened those accused of witchcraft. During both the 1692 Witch Trials and the 1950 McCarthy Trials the Government not only forced a confession, but imprisoned or killed those who refused to speak.
“If your name was placed on one of these blacklists, you could lose your job and your life and reputation could be ruined.” This quote shows how those accused of communism had their lives taken and ruined. In both the times of The Witch Trials and of McCarthyism, people could be falsely accused. There is a very obvious example in The Crucible when after confessing John Proctor says to Danforth, "Why must it be written? Why must I say it?" (The Crucible).
Both events involve a mass hysteria that leads many innocent people being accused of something they did not take part in. For example, the witch trials accused blameless women of practicing dark magic while McCarthyism accused hundreds of following communism. Both also have a person or group that leads the act. This shows how mindless humans can actually be. The Crucible expresses this trait by telling a story of the Salem witch trials.
People were so full of fear that they would do anything to eliminate their anxiety. The McCarthy hearings of the 1950s reenacted the hysteria of the Salem witch trials of 1692 by spreading mass fear of prosecution, creating false accusations, and blacklisting people. The Salem witch trials were considered to be America 's most notorious episode of witchcraft hysteria. Many innocent people were killed as a result of false accusations, and many other women were put through trials to determine if they were witches. All of the evidence that was given, in other circumstances, would be deemed unreasonable.
The play accurately describes the mass hysteria of both events. When the character Mary Warren states chants “Abby, you mustn’t (Miller Act 3:1012)”, the other girls, including Abigail Williams, all repeat. Prior to this Abbygail pretends to be bewitched by Mary, and all the other girls follow Abigail in fear. When people are under pressure, like how Abigail threatens the girls, people are in
In the book Witches the Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer, there was a religion, puritanism, and they believed in witches. They accused people for being aligned with the devil.It started with two girls who had symptoms of histyeria and others who were not sick also joined the. Nineteen people were wrongly accused of being witches and executed. Later in the book it stated that many of the people that accused those who died, lied. Many of those accused as witches died not just because of the accusers but, because of the unfairness of the trials.The judges of the trials used spectral evidence, ignoring the accused, and the judges were unfair because they believed in witches and want those who were witches dead.
The 1950s harbored one of the largest witch hunts in world history, the second Red Scare. This brutal political movement targeted Communists, Socialists, and members of subversive groups, physically and socially maiming those citizens. Led by Joseph McCarthy, innocent members of society were figuratively “burned at the stake” in public trials and accused them of Communism and espionage. McCarthy’s ruthless tactics sparked the development of “McCarthyism,” which today refers to any unfounded accusation of a person with immaterial evidence. The second Red Scare is comparable to Salem Village, Massachusetts where the original witch hunt began, based off of mass hysteria, just like the Red Scare.