Hysteria In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Hysteria has been seen throughout history, but what dictates the outcome is how the community reacts. Hysteria can be defined as uncontrollable emotion among a group of people. Hysteria has been depicted throughout human history, and can be seen during the Cold War, 9/11, and terrorist threats. The Crucible evidently shows how hysteria leads to the disunification of a community through the human obsession of reputation, the Puritan lack of respect for privacy, and human fear.
The Crucible is a play by American playwright Arthur Miller, written in 1953, which gives a detailed description of the Salem Witch Trials. “The story concerns a group of young Puritan girls who are caught in a forbidden act, i.e., dancing and cavorting in woods. In order to evade punishment, the girls accuse an ever growing number of their neighbors of having bewitched them” (Dector 1). This shows the basis of the story; the girls broke basic Puritan law in Salem, which then starts the witch trials. The only way the convicted could save themselves was if they accused someone else (Dector 1). This meant that anyone could be proven innocent by blaming someone else, causing multiple people to be accused. By the end of the play, nineteen innocent people are hanged due to the accusations (Dector 1). The accusations of the witch trials were to be taken seriously, but it was all controlled by young girls who did not know the consequences. Reputation was one of the major causes of the dispersion of hysteria.
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