After reading “Devil in the Shape of a Woman: The Economic Basis of Witchcraft “by Carol Karlsen I was intrigued by Karlsen’s interpretation, and upset about the ways women were treated. During these witch hunts women and men alike were accused of the crime, but the majority were women. I found it interesting that she related the commonly known Puritan beliefs, which lead to accusations of witchcraft, with gender roles. She ultimately says that Puritans feared these accused women because they symbolized female independence. I found it shocking that women, often the wealthier, had a greater chance of being let go of their accusations if they had a husband to spoke on their behalf. Those that did not have husbands to do so, despite wealth, were
Despite their deeply religious values, the members of the Puritan Society in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are equally as sinful as the rest of the world. The Puritans, known for turning to God when given any matter at hand, lay blame on the Devil, regardless of their contradictory values. By blaming on him for their wrongdoings, the Devil earns power through the Puritans restoring to involve him whenever any one thing goes wrong. Power is defined by one’s reputation, status, wealth, gender, and age; although the natural deciding factor of one’s power in the Puritan society is land, the Devil himself holds ultimate power. Despite the fact that he does not appear as a human figure, he controls the thoughts and actions of the Puritan society, serving as the ultimate threat. The Devil influences the villagers of Salem, Massachusetts by using their ongoing fear of him to manipulate their thoughts and actions in a manner to set himself in the highest position by the end of the Act 1.
She was able to blame her outburst on the devil by confessing to witchcraft and accusing others of participating in witchcraft. This shows that those that were previously marginalized and powerless were now in a position of power and those that were once powerful and respected were now at the hands of those that were previously disregarded and powerless. Therefore, the social order of Salem was completely inverted during the brief period of the trials and the hysteria that accompanied
Reverend Parris, worried for his own job, explains to Abigail that her “punishment will come in its time. But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it.” Even the idea of witchcraft in Reverend Parris’s house could ruin his reputation in the town and therefore risk his job. By Betty being ‘afflicted’, she is holding power over her own father and his position in the town. She knows that the longer she is asleep, the more desperate her father is going to be blame someone for the witchcraft who is not her. Putnam claims that “There is a murdering witch among us, bound to keep herself in the dark. Let your enemies make of it what they will, you cannot blink it more” (16). Putnam is yet another powerful male figure in Salem Betty has taken a grip over in the town. He, in this quote, truly believes that the devil is among the town of Salem based on Betty’s current condition. Reverend Hale, encouraging Tituba to give more names of witches, tells her to look at Betty’s “god- given innocence; her soul is so tender; we must protect her; Tituba; the Devil is out and preying on her like a beast upon the flesh of a pure lamb. God will bless you for your help”. (47) Betty has convinced Reverend Hale and the others that she is the victim and has done nothing wrong. This innocence is used as guilt for Tituba to make up names, even though Reverend Hale, who came into Salem with such an abundance of power, now is completely lead astray with the fake witchcraft present in the town due to Betty’s control of the situation at hand. Betty, throughout the first act, displayed her manipulative and dominant nature by taking power from certain powerful figures in the
“Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you,” (Act I, 160). She was the first person in the play to accuse a person of seeing people summon spirits of the Devil. This caused a massive, wide-scale witch hunt to take place; families torn apart, mothers, fathers, and even children murdered for what was considered to be the greater good. Now, others began to accuse people of witchcraft and people who had been lifelong friends to each other now had no choice other than to point fingers at each other or be put to death. Widespread panic and unreasonable action was sweeping through everyone in Salem, all because of a little lie by
Women in the 1600s to the 1800s were very harshly treated. They were seen as objects rather than people. They were stay-at-home women because people didn’t trust them to hold jobs. They were seen as little or weak.
Gender roles are present everywhere and are more and more prevalent the further back you go. They define relationships and heavily influence people's actions. Gender roles can hurt those that are trapped in them because they are not allowed the freedom of living like they want. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, one key relationship in the story is wrecked by gender roles. The Puritan ways of the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, lead to each gender having a very set role in society. Men were to be the strong, detached ones, who did all the hard work. Well the women were subordinate, stay-at-home mothers, and could show no temper. These roles lead to the growth of distrust between a married couple. An analysis of John and Elizabeth’s marriage
Although the whole book had information on the Salem witch trials. The introduction, chapter 1 and 2 and the conclusion had information regarding the research needed
However, she was still accused of a witch because her outstanding reputation as “Puritan perfection” intimidated the supremacy of male in the Puritan society. Rebecca’s success and prosperity, and links to those opposed to the Putnams and Parris also provoked her opponents’ jealousy, anger and revenge, and caused her to be the victim of witch hunt (Hill 90-91). In Salem society, women were discriminated, expected to be no authority and wealth, and viewed as easier to be controlled by the devil and inferior to men (Mammone). Therefore, even though Rebecca was an innocent and respectable woman, she could not prevail over men in a male dominated society. As Whitney mentioned, the witch hunts occurred in the 17th century were due to the fears of women becoming “economically and psychological” independent, and threatening the male control of property and social order. Those women were viewed as “discontent” meaning the refusal of accepting their predetermined social status (Whitney 85). In contrast, men who had high authority and social status like the Putmans and Parris could purposely manipulate women and instigated the public resentment to falsely accuse, and cruelly eliminate their enemies such as Rebecca and other accused witches. Certainly, the girls and women in the Putman and Parris’s families who made the false accusations of witches and witchcraft were wielded by
Salem witchcraft trials started in New England and caused a lot of deaths and hysteria for the people of Salem, Massachusetts. Innocent women and men were hung just for being accused by their fellow friends and neighbors. Witchcraft in the 17th century was a big taboo that people feared.
Young Elizabeth “Betty” Parris and Abigail Williams were cousins, but also best friends. The girls enjoyed playing together and listening to the stories of their slave, Tituba. Because of their connections with the church the girls had most likely grown up with Puritan beliefs and were strongly influenced by that culture. The girls knew all ten of the commandments and were familiar with what they were and weren't allowed to do by the ways of Lord. With this strong Christian influence, 9-year-old Betty and 12-year-old Abigail were the last people expected to get caught up in a witchcraft scandal. One day, the girls started messing around with a fortune telling device that required the user to put an egg white in water and see what shape it made. The girls knew they would get in trouble if they were caught because this was believed to be a demonic practice, so they probably felt guilty about what they had done. This guilt is what presumably drove the girls to start acting bewitched in
Three deranged girls, from 1692 Salem; Massachusetts, precipitated the mass hangings of twenty innocent people accused of witchery for the reason that of their adept prowess at acting, their marital status and jealousy of the newfound eastern wealth.
Throughout History, women have long struggled and fought for the same equality, justice, and rights as males in society. Historians have two opposing views of what life was like in Puritan society. One side argues that Puritan society was a golden age for women as they worked alongside their husbands, had an important role in the household. However, opposing historians argue that Puritan women were inferior to men in the society for five main reasons. Women were inferior because they were supposed to be silent company, they only received half the inheritance of their brothers, they were meant to have and take care of the children, they received harsher punishment for their wrongs, and they had to follow strict rules. The most significant way
In the spring of 1692, Salem Massachusetts, the famous Salem Witch Trials begins after a group of girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused a group of women of witchcraft and using the so called “devil’s magic.” As the hysteria spread through the small colonies in Massachusetts a panic began to form as the innocent puritan lifestyle was threatened. In the end, 18 were sent to Salem’s Gallow Hill, and over 200 convicted of witchcraft, the known tradition of the Salem Witch Trials would undergo for years. The Salem Witch Trials grabbed American History by the neck and is not one of our most prideful moments.
The Salem Witch Trials took place in Salem Massachusetts in the year 1692. Salem was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was under British rule. There was no charter to in force laws and the colony was waiting for a new governor. Salem was split into two distinct settlements, which was Salem Town and Salem Village. Salem Town was very prosperous because of the commerce, fishing, shipbuilding and other activities involving trading and an urban area. They were a successful center of trade with London, and most of the residents that lived in Salem Town were rich merchants. Salem Village was made up of poor farmers that made their living by cultivating crops in the rocky terrain of Salem. The town of Salem relied on the farmers of the Salem