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The Salem Witch Trials: An Example Of Mass Hysteria

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The definition of hysteria is ¨exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people.¨ When members of society become hysterical it becomes difficult to function as a community. They develop a fear so great, they will try to do everything in their power, to prevent this from occurring. Even if the means of prevention involves innocent people dying and the government becoming corrupt, the society will act upon their fear of evil. They become frightened, aggressive and unwilling to trust people they’ve known their whole lives. Throughout history there have been numerous examples of mass hysteria. One instance is The Holocaust in which Adolf Hitler persuaded the Germans into thinking the Jews were the cause of Germany's downfall. Another situation is The Salem Witch Trials. In Salem, the people were accused of compacting with the devil. Both of these circumstances have similarities in the way their society functioned and the motivations for each. The Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts was swept with a witch…show more content…
If the president had all the power, he would be able to pass any law he wanted and do anything to benefit himself. He wouldn’t think of the people he’d be hurting along the way. Abigail had enough power to testify and decide who should receive a warrant for witchery. When one group or individual has so much control and influence over who is sentenced to death, there is something to worry about. In The Crucible, Abigail has the quality of speaking and always being heard by her superiors, "I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!" (Miller 48) After this scene, Thomas Putnam immediately calls the marshal to hand out warrants for those accused. A prosperous society can't exist without a balance of power. When an irresponsible person has enough power, they will definitely take advantage of
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