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.
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.
Boer and Nissenbaum believed that he could be one of what caused the witch trials because he was given wealth by Thomas Putnam, his father, who did not give any to his children from the first marriage after he had died. This caused resentment by Thomas Putnam Jr. and his siblings towards Joseph Putnam and his mother. Reverend Parris is partly to blame for this mass hysteria. His role as a minister was greatly debated as the whole village split into two factions that were the Pro-Parris and Anti-Parris. Boer and Nissenbaum argued that the witch trials could have begun because of the social tensions between the Pro Parris and Anti Parris.
Such similarities include the false imprisonment of innocent people based off of prejudice beliefs and heavily biased justice systems. The Salem Witch Trials began in the year 1692 when several young girls in Salem, Massachusetts were acting so strange that they were believed to be under a witch’s spell (Schiff). When confronted, the girls began accusing others of practicing witchcraft (Schiff). Many people were soon accusing others or being accused of witchcraft; they were being accused for various reasons such as unexplained illnesses, failed crops, or a woman could even be accused if she could open something a man could not (Brandt, p. 38). As stated in Anthony Brandt’s article, An Unholy Mess, “Legally, spectral evidence was not grounds for convicting a witch.
With several other characters presented in The Crucible it is revealed that the scapegoat of the witchcraft hysteria isn’t just one person. People were hanged, jailed and these people were innocent. Abigail Williams started this because she was
Justice was not served in either one of the two cases mentioned above. People made assumptions on false evidence, and justice was mutilated in both situations. In the Salem Witch Trials, people were convicted of witchcraft because of hearsay and lies. The colonies came out and apologized to the people convicted years later, but is that really justice? In my opinion, the colonies are making a mute attempt to admit that they have done wrong.
“I denounce these proceedings I quit this court”. This quote, said by Reverend Hale from The Crucible, Reflects Hales personality. He said it at the end of the court trial when judge Hathorne convicted John Proctor for the crimes of witchcraft. Reverend Hale was angered that the court believed the absurd accusations made by the girls and left the court sickened by the unfair trial. He felt guilty about contributing towards the trials and their outcome.
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.
However, when taking a closer look at the time period in which the Salem Witch trials occur and just how close it is to the scientific revolution the reasoning behind the witch trials does not make sense or add up. Historians have done loads of research and very many have come to the same conclusion as they uncover the social control behind the unexplainable, horrific acts. Ultimately the Salem Witch trials were an indirect, discreet, disguised way of keeping women in Puritan society subordinate and under the control of men. From reviewing research done by multiple historians, firsthand accounts of what took place and court records of the trials it is evident that control of the social hierarchy is the real and true reason behind the Salem Witch
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.