And Goody Osburn…”(Miller 46-47) This moment shows the Putnams large role in the blaming of witchcraft because after they ask about a name people respond with those exact names although the blaming wasn’t real. Another person who contributed to the witchcraft hysteria is Reverend Parris. Samuel Parris was quick to blame and quick to make bad remarks about people he didn’t like. Most of all Parris wants to keep up his reputation so if word got out that he niece was acting like a barbarian in the woods he would be shamed upon. In the play Parris says, “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.” This quote
Nineteen people were hung due to false judgement by human nature and society. Taking place in a small village called Salem, inside of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during a depressing seventeenth century, was a movement that would challenge the nation’s religious and psychological beliefs. Innocent people were being accused of witchcraft, when rather they were just ill or not taken care of properly by family and friends. Thought to be caused by stress, fear, and panic, the Salem Witch Trials was an event that changed the nation’s view on mental illness because of false assumptions and mischievous behavior. The Salem Witch Trials was a series of false accusations of witchcraft taking place in Salem, which during the seventeenth century, was apart of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In the end, 25 lives were lost. An example of this is, “For example, Parris’s niece, Abigail Williams, fingered 41 different witches for attacking her; Ann Putnam Jr. accused 53; her servant, Mercy Lewis, blamed 54; and a girl named Mary Walcott, who was Ann’s step-cousin, named an astonishing 69 witches” (Schanzer 56). Most people would have never known if they were going to be accused or not. The Salem Witch Trials were indeed unfair because the accusers had absolutely no evidence. Also, the accusations themselves were just incredibly random, and the judges were so gullible that they would just believe almost anything.
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.
Ultimately, I believe that the Salem Witch Trials’ main cause was mass hysteria and paranoia among the group. I can predict this, because in Exhibit A, Cotton Mather states, “ I will prove that Witchcraft exists. Those who deny it exists argue that they never saw any witches, therefore there are none.” I believe this is strong evidence supporting the over exaggeration of most people towards the trials and how hysterical people can become towards an unrealistic assumption like witches and witchcraft. Another piece of evidence supporting mass hysteria as the cause of the trials would be in Exhibit B, where Abigail Hobbs a 16 year old girls pleads guilty. Abigail Hobbs says, “I will speak the truth.
The Salem Witch Trials started because two young girls fell into fits and convulsions claiming that they had been bewitched. Among the townspeople, these girls’ claims caused hysteria: “an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, weeping” (dictionary.com). The whole town was scared of becoming “bewitched” or being accused of being a witch themselves by
Review of Literature The religiously motivated Salem witch trials of 1692 left a permanent stain on Massachusetts’ history, but one overlooked factor could have sparked the tragic ordeal. The trials are best summarized as an inexplicable and unforeseen frenzy of accusations, aimed at the social pariahs of the community, that led to multiple deaths in a previously tranquil place. An intense type of food poisoning known as convulsive ergotism provides a seemingly simple, yet understandably deceptive to the ignorant, explanation. Due to optimum conditions for the disease, the correlation between the bewitched and the expected symptoms, and the religious fanaticism of the time, one can conclude ergotism was an influence on the Salem witch trials.
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.
Inhumane actions are cruel and unnecessary. During the period of the Salem Witch Trials, the accusations had no physical proof other than the words of young girls such as Betty Paris and Abigail Williams. Rumors spread around the village that the accusations made by the girls were starting to become false considering they were accusing outstanding members of the community and Puritan Church. Rumors were also going around the village whenever the girls accused a women named Elizabeth Procter. Elizabeth Procter was married to John Procter who supposedly had an affair with Abigail Williams.
I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!” The strict rules of Puritan society does not allow individuality to thrive. Abigail decides to “confess” because she does not want to suffer the consequences of society. Abigail is seemingly innocent. However, she is one of the masterminds behind the hysteria of the Witch Trials. Innocence is featured as a concern in the Salem trials because Abigail Williams was seen as an innocent victim of witchcraft.