When one evokes The Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the image that comes to most peoples minds are that of witches with pointed hats riding broomsticks. This is not helped by the current town of Salem, Massachusetts, which profits from the hundreds of thousands of tourists a year by mythologizing the trials and those who were participants. While there have been countless books, papers, essays, and dissertations done on this subject, there never seems to be a shortage in curiosity from historians on these events. Thus, we have Bernard Rosenthal's book, Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692, another entry in the historiographical landscape of the Salem Witch Trials. This book, however, is different from most that precede it in that it does not focus on one single aspect, character, or event; rather Rosenthal tells the story of Salem in 1692 as a narrative, piecing together information principally from primary documents, while commenting on others ideas and assessments. By doing so, the audience sees that there is much more to the individual stories within the trials, and chips away at the mythology that has pervaded the subject since its happening. Instead of a typical thesis, Rosenthal writes the book as he sees the events fold out through the primary documents, so the book becomes more of an account of what happened according to primary sources in 1692 rather than a retelling under a new light. Rosenthal begins with stating why he chose to write this book when there were numerous books already published. “The more I read the original documentation, the more I realized that the story of what actually happened in 1692, as opposed to how the story has been told, would have to drive my own narration.” (p. 5) The “original docum... ... middle of paper ... ... age stereotyped. From what I could tell, Rosenthal has little if no bias throughout the book. His position as Professor and Chair of the English Department at State University of New York in Binghamton sheds light on his approach to the material. Rather than being a History professor, his English background makes him able to critique the documents and other arguments under a literary light, and therefore a new depiction of the events comes out. Salem Story is a unique book covering the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, in that it does not focus on any single aspect. This is probably its best strength, because it allows Rosenthal to take the reader on a ride on which is powered by the primary documents. Thus, the audience is left with an almost bare boned account of the events while all of the illusions from popular culture and previous authors is left in the dust.
John M. Murrin’s essay Coming to Terms with the Salem Witch Trials helps detail the events of these trials and explains why they might have occurred. The witch trials happened during a “particularly turbulent time in the history of colonial Massachusetts and the early modern atlantic world” (Murrin, 339). Salem came to be in 1629 and less than seventy years later found itself in a mess of witch craft.
The Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials have generated extensive evaluation and interpretation. To explain the events in Salem, psychological, political, environmental, physical, and sociological analysis have all been examined. The authors Linnda Caporael, Elaine Breslaw, Anne Zeller, and Richard Latner all present differing perspectives to speculate about the events of the Salem Witch Trials. This changing interpretation and perspective has resulted in an extensive historiography to explain the
In the beginning of the late seventeenth century a sense of fear and panic was sweeping throughout the colonies of North America this fear began in a small town in Massachusetts called Salem and would lead to the death of nineteen people. This fear was caused by young Puritan girls who started randomly convulsing and accusing people of being witches many of the accused were women many single or widowed who owned land and this event was titled The Salem Witch Trails, but another smaller very significant event also took place during this period of time that event is the attempted hanging of Mary Webster. Both of these events are very significant in the fact that they would become a basis of American literature and would bring about a very big theme even in today`s literature that theme being “A majority does not always make the right decision.” Both of these events would lead to the writing of two significant pieces
Bernard Rosenthal’s Salem Story was written as a way to break the common assumptions made by the General public. Rosenthal writes as a way to share his findings that the story goes past hat we think we know about the Salem Witch Trials. Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials 1692 will aid my future research paper by adding a broad explanation of the Salem Witch Trials. This book goes into factual details of the events as well as the opinion and references from professionals on the topic.
The Salem Witch Trials were a series of prosecutions of men and women who were accused to practice witchcraft or have associations with the devil. The first Salem witch trial began with two girls in 1692, Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams who started to have “fits”, in which they would throw tantrums and have convulsions. The random outburst of the girls threw the town of Salem into a mass of hysteria. Although historians have not found a definite reason or cause for the witch trials, they have taken different approaches to explain the hysteria that took over Salem. Some historians approach a psychological theory by proposing the girls suffered from diseases that made them act out. Other historians refer to factors such as religion, economics, and weather to explain the beginnings of an unforgettable time in Salem, Massachusetts. For over 300 years, historians have tried to reveal the truth about the beginnings of the Salem Witch Trials, but in order to do so historians must look at both the way of life in Salem in the seventeenth century and use knowledge that is available now to explain the phenomenon.
In the book Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Trial of 1692 by Richard Godbeer, the witch hunt that took place in Stamford, Connecticut, was not as infamous as the witch hunt of Salem both witch trials taken place during the year 1692. Godbeer explains what occurred during the witch trial in Stamford. During this time period most of the Puritan New Englanders accused women who would act different or didn’t seem to fit in, of being a witch. The point that Godbeer portrays is how in early America during the seventeenth century Puritan New Englanders the morals and political motive in contrast with the religious mindset that surrounded most of the Puritans.
Escaping Salem, the Other Witch Hunt of 1692 was written by Richard GodBeer. Many know about the Salem Witch Trails of 1692, however not many knew about the Witch Trials that happened in Stamford, Connecticut that same year. Richard GodBeer takes it upon himself to explain in depth the story of Kate Branch. GodBeer begins the book by describing the setting of the book, it was June in 1692 and the narrative would take place in a small town off the northern shore of Long Island. (Godbeer, 1) After the introduction of few characters one being Ebenezer Bishop, the first incident of a Witch encounter happens. As Bishop is walking, he hears a scream of immense pain and fright. This is when the main characters of the book are introduced. The young
While most people are familiar with the notorious Salem Witch Trials in 1692, many people are unaware that similar events were taking place in other parts of New England in the very same year. The book, Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, takes readers through an intriguing narrative of a young girl with claims of being bewitched. Although I was concerned at first about the book being in a narrative style, the author was very concise and used actual evidence from the trial to tell an accurate and interesting story.
Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials by Marc Aronson was published in 2003, with 272 pages, by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. Author Marc Aronson does a fantastic job explaining, and portraying well-researched information of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, by going into great detail, and providing understandable information.
The Salem witch trials are a huge part of America's history regardless of whether because of it being an embarrassment or triumph. After reading the novel "The Devil in Massachusetts" by Marion L. Starkey it is evident she is trying to display this in her version of the trials. While it is true to historical documentation Starkey's version seems to be an attempt at an `easy read' for those wishing to learn about a detailed listing of events. I enjoyed the attempt at which she took to make historical facts more appealing and interesting to those who may find it dry. While the objective is supposed to be a more interesting way for those to learn about history, her vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure can often at times be confusing and cause there to be a break in the flow of the sequence of events.
The thoroughness is one of its key strengths, allowing for people of varying knowledge about Salem to gain an understanding of the events and background of the witch trials. The author includes multiple sources to show the exceptionally varying ideals and their effects on Salem. “the peace that came under Joseph Green's conciliatory leaders... the important role religious strife played in the events of 1692”(Latner, 2006, 118). Joseph Green completely paralleled his predecessors, he was responsible for restoring order to Salem. This is significant because it shows the impact that ministers had, they had the power to change the town completely, Green was one of the first to not cause strife. Compared to Christine Leigh Heyrman’s “Witchcraft in Salem Village: Intersections of Religion and Society” Latner’s article correlates with the central idea that religious leaders and religion itself started the witch
We have all heard fairy tales about witches and wizards. You know, the ones that ride brooms and have that evil laugh! Well, in Salem, Massachusetts, the people there believed in them too. They might not have been the ones that can be seen in the books or popular movies, but they were considered a legitimate threat to the people of Salem. The “witches” of Salem have become a famous part of history, as the trials began in January of 1692. The Salem Witch Trials were some of the darkest times in human history because they caused unjustified hysteria and fear of the unknown; as a result, this caused physical, mental, and emotional harm as well as a great loss of human life.
In 1692 in Salem Massachusetts, 12 girls accused colonists of witchcraft. nineteen of the colonists were hung for witchcraft. Salem witch trials never had factual evidence to support prosecutors. The evidence was spectral evidence, which was evidence of seeing spirits of the defendant. Spectral evidence was still not reliable facts against a person.During 1692, the people’s clothing is very simple. At the time , technology was not advanced as today. the people living in salem, Massachusett were very basic. 1692 Salem Witch Trials are a memorable historical event. An author named Arthur Miller wrote a screenwrite for the unfaithful event in Salem.The screenwrite that miller wrote was called The crucible, in 1954. What followed the screenwrite
“The Wonders of the Invisible World”, written by Cotton Mather, is an account of the Salem Witch Trials. He retells information that has been passed down to him without actually being present at the trial and simultaneously explains his theory to why witches were suddenly emerging in Salem, Massachusetts. There were quite a few holes in the Salem Witch Trials, especially regarding whether or not these events occurred the way they are said to. Mather’s book shows us how intense the Puritan ideals were, attaching anything out of the ordinary to a higher power and in doing this shows the flaws of the religion which caused to Salem Witch Trials.
Daily the ancient woman asked when she was allowed to go home and I always gave her the same answer; it’s not up to me and that I’m only her caretaker and caretakers like me in this nursing home don’t get a say in when patients go home. Hopefully they release her soon because her complaining is getting just as annoying as the creaky ceiling fan near me. The woman started going off on me and I just rolled my eyes. Since I’m used to her throwing toddler-like temper tantrums, I’ve learned how to tune her out. Luckily, I only have a year left of working here and I’ll finally be off to college.