Betty Parris’s great power throughout Act I can be seen by her ability to single handedly create chaos and hysteria within the town for her own personal gain. Her power can first be viewed after Susanna Walcott explains the possibility of a supernatural cause to Betty’s illness, leading Abigail to advise her Uncle about “the rumor of witchcraft [that] is all about: [She] thinks [he 'd] best go down and deny it [himself]. The parlor’s packed with people,sir” (10). This is the first hint that others in the town believe in the presence and of the beginnings of the hysteria that follows. Betty started this rumor in the town by pretending to act sick so that she would not get punished for dancing in the woods.
“Common history has painted Annand her young peers as selfish, vicious fakers who fueled the witchcraft trials out of boredom or spite. This portrait, however, is somewhat flawed as it appears that in Ann’s case at least, the parents of the afflicted must have a strong influence with the child, as did the other adult accusers. Initially, Ann was fed names by her parents and minister”(-Minerdescent). The girls that were tricked into believing that the accused were guilty were most likely convinced that this was pious and that God wanted them to accuse the innocent. Or the girls might be influenced by their religion, reverends, and ministers.
An example of this is when Thomas Putman tell his daughter, Ruby, to accuse, their neighbor, Mr. Jacobs, of witchcraft. If people had used evidence instead of just accusations then they would have realized that Mr.Jacobs isn’t a witch, just a person accused for Thomas Putnam's own personal gain. Thomas Putnam's anger toward the town for not getting enough respect is what caused him to accuse an innocent man of witchcraft, demonstrating how emotions can lead to immoral
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.
With the huge act they had going on; they caused people to die based on their lies. Towards the end of the play, Hale goes back into the town Salem and tries to have people confess to save them from being hang. Hale wants Proctor to confess so he can be with pregnant wife. Proctor ends up confessing to the judges to save Rebecca. In order for the confession to be complete Danforth tells Proctor to sign a paper stating that he is confessing about doing witchery.
All this we can learn from so in the future we won’t make the same mistakes as we did during the witch trials. Just as Abigale lied and sought revenge on John by announcing that she saw Elisabeth working with the devil. As well as not picking her over Elizabeth after their affair. Another good example from the Salem Witch Trials would be Goody Putman calling witch on Rebecca for supposedly sending out her soul to kill all of but one of Goody Putman’s baby’s before they were a day old. Also like how we were so quick to judge and say someone was guilty in a state of panic so that we could place blame and have some reassurance that we will be able to fix the problem.
It all started with Abigail and Betty lying to stay out of trouble. Then, Tituba and the girls accused innocent people of witchcraft because they could. Finally, John Proctor takes pride in his faith and honor and is hanged for not signing his name to a lie. Every decision made in Salem after the witch hunts started depended on truth versus lies because if they told the truth, they would die and if the lied they would live. This essay proves the development of the theme truth versus lies in the crucible by stating three major events in the play where truth versus lies depends on what the results are.
The author, Arthur Miller, wrote “The Crucible” that tells us the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. The society in Salem in 1692 was full of McCarthyism and fear because they thought their other citizens are doing witchcraft. Miller tells us that ignorance and fear combined can destroy a town’s social well-being. On the play, “The Crucible”, the citizens of Salem’s reacted with fear when they hear that someone has a sign of being a witch. For example, when someone coughs, society thought he/she’s a witch.
Keeping women and young girls from the bulk of society and power made them seek power and rebellion. The girls of the Salem witch trials lie to the society as to not get in trouble. Abigail leads them all in their lies by telling Mercy, “...listen now;if they be questioning us, tell them we danced- I told him as much already...He knows Tituba conjured Ruth’s sisters to come out of the grave...” (Miller 174). Abigail is covering for herself and Mercy by telling everyone all they were doing was dancing in the forest and Tituba was responsible for the rest. By blaming Tituba they are not in trouble because they blame others of witchcraft and forcing them to do so.
Abigail and the other accusers blamed others in order to escape criticisms. Judge Danforth, to keep his power and pride, refused to recognize that those accused might not be guilty. Lastly, those who dishonestly confessed to being a witch did so to stay alive. These actions drove the town to panic, and made people scramble to place guilt on someone else as well. Clearly, Salem in the late 1600s was a dangerous place to be, with accusations of witchcraft being thrown around with desperation and
The girls “twitched, cried, made odd noises, and huddled in corners” and soon started making accusations about who had bewitched them. One of the first accused was Samuel Parris’ own slave, Tituba. It was unheard of for a Reverend to have witchcraft practiced under his own roof, and Parris could not afford to lose his reputation. Samuel stood by his children in court as they testified against the accused, and he even helped them by testifying against Rebecca Nurse. People thought for certain that if the Reverend was standing with the girls against the so called “evil witches” that there must be a real problem.
Because of a servant telling the children of the town of sorcery and the devil, they began to believe what they had heard. The town was scared of the “possessed” people, thinking that killing them would stop the problem. Sadly, over 24 men, women and children died because they were assumed to have possessed by the devil. Bridget Bishop was the first accused and was hung on June 10, 1692. Many followed, until the court overruled the judgement of the mayor.
In 1692 the beginning of the Salem witch trials began. A few decades later a similar occurrence happened in 1950 with the spread of McCarthyism. What started both the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism was the spread of fear and mass hysteria. Puritans during 1692 believed that the new world should be a holy place with freedom to practice your own personal religion. When witchcraft came around the puritans noticed strange behavior between the young teenage girls for example being choked by an invisible force or falling out on the floor as if possessed.
Around the time of the witch trials, the people in Salem were very religious. Rumors were easily spread and it was nearly impossible to prove yourself innocent if people were talking about you otherwise. During the witch hysteria, innocent people were imprisoned and and executed because someone has accused them of being a witch. It is understandable that some would accuse others to save themselves from imprisonment or from possible death. However, I believe Abigail should be held responsible for the imprisonment and execution of innocent people because she threaten the girls, so they would act bewitched and she also lied about getting stabbed by a needle and making it look like as if Elizabeth Proctor did it with witchcraft.