Effects Of Hysteria In The Crucible

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As humans, fear is nearly inevitable. We all experience it one point or another in our lives, some more than others. However, what happens when a fear gets out of hand? Or worse, when this fear is instilled in a whole group of people? This situation, known as mass hysteria, is clearly depicted in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The people of Salem were essentially engulfed by the fear of witches, causing them to behave in many irrational ways. Although mass hysteria affected these fictional characters, its effects are all too real in life today. Such effects include the aftermath that followed the September 11th terrorist attacks. One thing both The Crucible and post 9/11 have in common: they feared the unknown. In the Puritan town of Salem, …show more content…

Many woke up that Tuesday morning expecting to carry on with their daily lives, only to have it pulled out from underneath their feet. Over the course of that morning, four terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda, killing a total of 2,977 people and wounding 6,000 more. Life in every corner of America was shaken. Where Americans once felt safe, they now felt vulnerable. Many wondered what was going to happen next, but no one knew. Because of this, Americans began to live in a state of paranoia. They worried that their homeland might become victim to another terrorist attack. Americans questioned everyone and everything, specifically Muslims. Many people assumed that just because the terrorists in the 9/11 attacks were Muslim, that every Muslim must be a terrorist. Muslims, or anyone slightly perceived to be Muslim, were hated and feared. Many were prosecuted and convicted following post 9/11, simply based upon suspicion alone. At airports, Muslims were treated no differently. Many of times, they were interrogated, searched, and held for hours, all for no justifiable reason. Even today, fifteen years later, Muslims are still discriminated and held responsible for the actions of a few. According to Ethan A. Huff (2011), a staff writer for Natural News, this is exactly what happened to 35-year-old Shoshana Hebshi, a woman of Arab and Jewish descent, who was traveling home on a passenger plane on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. She was removed by authorities from the plane after landing for alleged “suspicious activity”. After being strip searched and enduring over four hours of intense questioning from a Homeland Security officer, she was found not to be in the wrong. The concerned passengers had only assumed she was “up to no good” because of her dark, Middle Eastern appearance. This situation could have been easily avoided had some people not been quick to

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