Salem Witchcraft

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Salem Witchcraft Imagine yourself in a community with severe conflict, in addition to being different from others. Or worse yet, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or saying the wrong things. During the 1690's, people in Salem had to watch their every move and word as Corey Giles soon found out. Giles was not an admirable man, especially where John Procter stood (they had a long standing quarrel which had ended up in court). In addition, he was a violent person. However, Giles wanted to attend the Salem witch trials, when he told his wife, Martha, she took his saddle and hid it hoping to discourage his attendance. This only aggravated Giles more and he walked to the trials. When he got there he told some friends what Martha had done. When his friends started asking if she had done any other strange things, Giles replied that she talked to herself before going to bed at night. Eventually Martha was accused of witchcraft. When Giles realized what he had done, he recanted his story and stated that she had only been praying out loud. People in Salem felt Martha put a spell on him and he too was a witch. However, when Giles was indicted in court he simply stood there silent. You see, under New England law a man who refused to answer could not be tried for the alleged crime, but he could be tortured until he confessed to the act. The torture chosen for Giles was being placed on the ground and gradually adding weight on top of him. Every time he was asked to confess, he replied with 'more weight'. If Giles had confessed, his abundant amount of land would have gone to the state. Some speculate this is the reason Giles refused to confess he was saving the land for his children (Hansen, 1969). I hope to show that the Salem wit... ... middle of paper ... ...—not how the community expected them to behave. Furthermore, women had a limited role in society—she was the homemaker and was expected to care for children. However, during these trying times females didn't have the outlet to relieve tension like males did. The Salem witch hunt was a sad time, but reviewing all this material one should remember it can happen at any time or place. Bibliography: Erikson, K. (1966). Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hansen, C. (1969). Witchcraft at Salem. New York: George Braziller, Inc. Hoffer, P. C. (1996). The Devil's Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Starkey, M. (1949). The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc.

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