Corruption In The Salem Witch Trials

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Circular logic has propelled social corruption throughout history; including the Salem Witch Trials, the Red Scare, and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Evidence for this can be found even today in modern religion, despite how logical western society has become.
The Red Scare was a widespread fear of communism during the 1950s, as many thought that it threatened the United States’s capitalistic society. Similarly, the Salem Witch Trials during the 1600s closely resembled the circular logic behind accusation and prosecution in the 1950s. Government officials during both times conducted a “witch hunt” in the classical sense, accusing people of being communists (or witches) and prosecuting those found “guilty.” Arthur Miller used the Salem Witch Trials to symbolize the corruption and hysteria of society during the 1950s and convey his experience as someone who fell victim. The concept of social corruption is evident in the Salem Witch Trials and during the Red Scare. This is demonstrated most clearly when observing what the girls did to take advantage of the justice system. The girls do this throughout the entire play, but most distinctly towards the end. Mary Warren, an afflicted girl, attempts to …show more content…

The looming fear of being accused is constant, and in many cases, the only way out prosecution is to accuse someone else. This self-reinforcing process is what fuels the social perversion in that society, and can be found from the beginning of the play when Abigail and the girls accuse people of witchcraft to save themselves from the law. Abigail claims she “saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil,” and from here the girls accuse many others, including Goody Sibber, Goody Booth, and Goody Bibber. This scene alone captures how lethal hysteria can become. With only a few names, Abigail and the girls created a plague that would touch every corner of their society, bringing with it more hysteria and

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