Imagine living life in fear of being hanged or burned to death on accusation of witchcraft. This was the reality for countless men and women alike, during the Witch Trials of the mid-1600s. One such person was a homeless woman named Sarah Good. Good was considered a burden to society, therefore accused of witchcraft and sentenced to be hanged. Although she was pardoned until the birth of her child, that same child perished in prison before her execution (Jobe).
In order for Abigail's lies to seem genuine, the other girls’ stories must seem the same or quite similar. To make sure the girls lied, Abigail threatened them.”Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam’s dead sisters.
Imagine one day being wrongfully accused of a crime and sent to jail without a fair trial or even a proper representative in court. That seems a little unjust, does it not? Unfortunately, many people in the past were imprisoned and killed for crimes they did not commit like in the Salem Witch Trials or the Scottsboro Trials. Even though the Salem Witch Trials and Scottsboro Trials were over two-hundred years apart, there are many similarities between them. Such similarities include the false imprisonment of innocent people based off of prejudice beliefs and heavily biased justice systems.
All through history millions of individuals have been shunned, arrested, brutally tortured, prosecuted, and persecuted as witches. One would think that post colonization of the United States these unjust acts to human kind would have ended, but that was not so. In 1692 the Salem Witch Trials took place, an event that was a major catastrophe in United States history. It began when a group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts declared that they were possessed by the devil and made accusations that several older women were practicing witchcraft and fraternizing with the Devil. The strict Puritan discipline is what incited the girl’s interest in magic and superstitious acts which caused strange behavior starting the witchcraft delirium in
Most all people who accused others for being witches were young girls. Many people were put to death because of these people accusing them. After the trials were done they were very deeply regretting their decisions when they found the women that were accusing were lying and found guilty. On February 29, the girls blamed three women for cursing them: Tituba, a slave; Sarah Good, a homeless woman; and Sarah Osborne, an elderly woman. Not until 1957, 250 years later, did Massachusetts apologize for what they the Witch Trials did.
If Abigail had brought the accusations forward and the vulnerable adults wouldn’t have believed the hysteria wouldn’t have occured. The Putnams played a major role in the blaming of being a witch. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam have gone through their own trauma. Seven out of eight of their children have died before they were a day old and Mrs. Putnam is convinced that witches killed her babies. Mr. Putnam is only worried about gaining more land and if more people die that means there is more land for him.
It was a devastating time for the Puritans. Family accused family and friends accused friends. These accusations lasted from February 1692 to May 1693, and more than 200 people were accused for witchcraft. 19 of the the 200 were were hanged and one was pressed to death. Many people accused others for being witches because of fear, popularity, and revenge.
The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky. Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. In the article “Are You Now or Were You Ever”, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials were similar and he does this through his choice of diction, figurative language, and rhetorical questions.
The Salem girls should be punished for their acts of involuntary manslaughter because when they accused many of witchery even though they weren't witches, most of the accused were hanged.Evidence for this is during a conversation between Reverend Hale and Danforth , when Hale says “I have signed seventy-two death warrants”(Miller.239-243). Evidence shows that after many Court sessions the accused of the Salem girls were appointed to death by hanging which is involuntary manslaughter.The reason why Judge Danforth too should be punished, is that when Abigail left town with stolen money the trials should have ended but he kept continuing them.The evidence for Abigail leaving with stolen money is presented during a conversation between Parris and Danforth, when Parris says “My niece, sir, my niece - I believe she has vanished my strongbox is broke into....Thirty-one pound is gone. I am penniless.”(Miller 132). What this shows Is that even though the “leader”and now a questionable witness of the Salem girls Is a criminal, he continues to go on with the hangings and trials without question. Which Is now considered involuntary manslaughter as the people he hangs were non-guilty.The punishment for this act of crime should be death by hanging like the
Abigail’s lies carry her through the entire trial and allows her to put several people to death because the court believes her. Mary tries at one point to tell the truth but when the group of girls start behaving crazy she panics and goes back on her statement. Due to all of her lies and accusations Abigail has caused the love of her life, Proctor, to be charged. In the end because of Proctor being guilty, Abigail leaves Salem because her quest for his love is over. The girl’s decisions throughout the courtroom drama ended up changing their communities’ future and the people’s lives in