Firstly, Why was witchcraft illegal, why witchcraft stopped being viewed as a crime? The witchcraft in 1735 made a complete switch in attitudes. Penalties for the practice of witchcraft was usually believed by many famous and important people to be an impossible crime, that was replaced by penalties for the lie of witchcraft. The witchcraft of 1735 stayed in force in Britain into the 20th century, because of the illegal ways of telling witchcraft of 1951. (Wikipedia) During the 16th century, many people believed that witchcraft, rather than the workings of God's will, offered better reason of sudden and unexpected bad fortune, such as the death of a child, bad harvests, or the death of cows and bulls.
The witch trials are a perfect comparison to the HUAC trials of Miller’s time. They both stemmed from common people attempting to gain power and good standing within the community. They also both exemplified the outrageously corrupt government of the time periods. The play goes to show that “those who don 't know history are doomed to repeat it” (Edmund Burke). Both governments believed the common citizens about any accusations they had.
All references to witchcraft are connected with fear, suspicion and the collapse of normal social values. In the fervor of the witch trials, Abigail is put on a pedestal by the people of Salem and treated as though she has a direct connection with the Divine. Through cold calculation, Abigail carefully selects the people that she accuses in order to establish her credibility. Thus, she first accuses the town’s social deviants, as she knows the court is already predisposed to convict them. Soon a mere accusation from her becomes enough reason to convict even important, influential people.
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
Samuel Parris, the examiner of Bishop, seems to shed a negative light on Bishop. Eventually, as stated in Document A, Bridget Bishop was the first witch to be hanged in the Salem Witch Trials on June 10, 1692. However, Parris happens to be the father of an “afflicted” girl that was enticed by a witch named Tituba. The one thing can be inferred from this document though is that Parris’s experience with witches most likely altered his opinion to be negative towards these people. Despite his bias, Document C supports the conclusion of family ties being the cause of the Salem Witch Trials.
Before the Women 's Rights reforms, American women were discriminated in society, home life, education, and the workforce. As a result of the Women 's Rights Movement, women gained the right to vote, access to higher education and opportunities to enter the workforce, overall changing the femmine life for the better. Women in the 1800s were stripped of their voice, not only were they unable to vote, they were often kept from speaking openly in public. Their lack of rights left them dependent on men (Bonnie and Ruthsdotter). The American Women were voiceless, they had no say in society, however the reform movement would change that.
One woman even said she felt like it was a vampire bite instead of a bug. As ridiculous as this sounds in sent America into a state of fear. Just as it did to the people of Salem during the trials. There has been many cases of mass hysteria and it still happens today. The Salem witch trials is a warning of what can happen if we panic instead of
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 Crucible is a piece of literature that can be attributed to a few other situations in history, not simply just the Salem Witch Trials. People throughout history have turned on each other in fear, and have use irrational thinking to justify what they have done. Though the story portrays the Witch Trials, it is able to connect with other events in history due to how the themes can connect with the reader and resonate with how people can feel under certain stress at these moments. Arthur Miller writes in the way that the story can live on in other situations to make points on how we treat each other during these times, the rhetorical appeals he uses becoming important as to why this story is still important to our history in more than one event. As spoken before, The Crucible is set in a certain time period, but advances its meaning into other aspects of history; written in the 50’s, it can be traced back to a connection with McCarthyism, the story an allegory for this period.
The accusations against Goody Nurse only became prevailing in court, because of the sheer amount of people testifying against her. The number of people testifying made it seem as if Goody Nurse was more likely to be a witch, but this is not true because the witnesses are untrustworthy and biased against the Nurse family. The witnesses moved their bodies in court the same way Goody Nurse was moving her body to make it seem like Goody Nurse sent out her spirit to control (Lewis). This made it look like Goody Nurse is a witch, but we believe that the Putnams and their friends were doing this as a ruse so that Goody Nurse could be convicted when in reality she is not guilty. These actions by the
However, no one actually knows the truth of what happened in the village of Salem during the trials except for the people who were actually involved. The Salem Witch Trials were such a terrible moment in history for the people of Salem, Massachusetts they eventually decided to rename the area to Danvers in hopes to forget what all occurred in that small village. In the end, the Salem Witch Trials could be considered a very lurid moment of history due to the fact that the villagers in that town went so far into their religious beliefs that they actually went along with the idea that the people they grew up with, the people they married, and even their families were involved in
There is a certain polarity that comes with the territory in witchcraft. In most witch trials, there was a sense of “he said, she said”, one side claiming one thing and the other disagreeing. This seemed to flow into the realm of historical thought on the matter. There is a dividing line of external and internal interpretations on the subject of the witch trials, especially including the trials in Salem. However, I argue that the line between the external and internal interpretations of the witch trials is blurred, the sides often bleeding into each
What if I told you the Salem Witch Trials wasn’t a mystery but a hoax. Let me break this down. The Salem witch trials took place in Salem Massachusetts 1692. During that time period there was a high number of people being accused of BRUJERIA (witchcraft). Now people didn’t have an explanation of this so now in the present day many theories have come up as to why the witch trials took place.
Another important event that shaped the history of the Amerindian culture were the trials of Anne Hutchinson. “She began holding meetings in her home where she led discussions of religious issues among men and women. She was placed on trial before a civil court for sedition.” Anne Hutchinson’s trial displays the inequality of differences of thinking, in a society where there is only one absolute truth. Tituba is the very expression of forced eradication of Native Americans’ culture, she was succumbed to exploitation and even traveled across the sea to a remote and cold regions like New England to become acquainted of the misfortune of being treated like a witch in that excruciating process by which many innocent lives were lost and where history consequently acquires as the process of the witches of Salem. Tituba exposes the rudeness of European to Native Americans, but most importantly the mistreat of people that differed from the ideals of the beliefs.
If you’ve ever seen horror movies about witches such as The Blair Witch Project, you’d know witches are horrifying. But that’s not the reason for why we see them in our history textbooks, witches were a vital part of history. The Salem Witch Trials era was an unforgettable part of our history and we need to learn about what happened in order to learn about our mistakes. The trials were unlawful and it’s important for us to never repeat the same mistakes that we made during that time period. Many died from those trials and it was a great tragedy that left the community damaged.