Analysis Of Rosalyn Schanzer's Witches: The Salem Witch Trials

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Rosalyn Schanzer’s book Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem describes the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, during which twenty innocent people died and many more were stripped of everything they had. To this day it is unclear exactly why this tragic event happened, but there are many theories. My theory is that the salem witch trials began due to a combination of hysteria, post traumatic stress disorder, and religious views.

The Salem Witch Trials started because two young girls fell into fits and convulsions claiming that they had been bewitched. Among the townspeople, these girls’ claims caused hysteria: “an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, weeping” ( The whole town was scared of becoming “bewitched” or being accused of being a witch themselves by
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All their lives they had been in the midst of a war between the malicious indians, embittered french, and the puritans. As many were rapt to the war many children and adults most likely would have been traumatized. If so they may have had post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. According to, “PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm.” If these children and adults had been through all of this they would most likely have developed PTSD. People with PTSD tend to be scared or jumpy even when the danger has passed. Going along with the statement ,“This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged.” from (, “the person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or
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