Literary Criticism Of The Salem Witch Trials

1305 Words6 Pages
The Salem witch trials originally began in the spring of 1692 due to a group of younger girls claiming they were possessed by Satan. They later accused other local women of witchcraft as well. This all began in the Salem Village in Massachusetts. Everyone in the town then began to become hysterical and actually bought into the younger girls’ accusations, this lead to a special court hearing to hear the cases about the witchcraft that took place in Salem. There have been many literary works written about the trials, the more famous of these works include but are not limited to: The Crucible, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft, The Witchcraft of Salem Village, and “The Trial of Martha Carrier” from Cotton Mather’s The Wonders of…show more content…
It is clear that the judicial system was heavily manipulated and convinced to believe the lies that the little girls told. The deceit that takes place during the trials is something that is nearly unmatchable by any other disasters taking place due to the court of law and the mistakes they made. As we reflect back on the events that happened during these trials, I ask that you keep in mind the feelings of not only the people on trial for false accusations, but also think of their families and loved ones going through the stress and trying desperately to redeem their good name and undo the hatred and chaos that a mere few girls dancing in the woods has caused…show more content…
This initially happens when the audience sees Abigail tell some of the other girls who were dancing in the woods, not to admit to anything. A local farmer named John Proctor then steps into the scene and wishes to talk to Abigail alone. This is when the audience learns that even though the town does not know it to be true, when Abigail had worked in John Proctor’s house the year before, they had had an affair together. This ultimately lead to John’s wife, Elizabeth, finding out and firing Abigail due to it. Abigail clearly still lusts for John, however he pushes her away and tells her to stop the foolishness about the dancing in the woods with the other girls. Later on, back at the Parris house, Betty wakes up screaming. This leads to a lot of the crowd waiting outside to rush upstairs and begin arguing over whether or not Betty is bewitched. Meanwhile a separate argument begins between John, Parris, Thomas Putnam, a wealthy influential citizen of Salem, and another elderly farmer man Giles Corey, who is famous for his tendency to file lawsuits. They argue about money and land deeds, which shows the audience that clearly there are some deep fault lines running through the Salem Village community. Reverend Hale then arrives and examines Betty, then begins questioning Abigail about the activities the girls were doing in the forest. Due to Abigail’s reactions, Reverend Hale

More about Literary Criticism Of The Salem Witch Trials

Open Document