Similarities Between The Salem Witch Tale And The Crucible

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Twenty people executed, two hundred or more jailed, and the whole town of Salem in hysteria. Lasting two years, the Salem Witch Trials not only tore families apart, but killed many along the way as well. People were jailed from the reasoning of the court with no legitimate evidence. This historical time, in 1692-1693 was one of the most insane and violent periods that people living in small towns and villages experienced. In both Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Lisa Rowe Fraustino’s I Walk in Dread, hysteria, the Salem Witch Trials, and Mccarthyism are featured as main topics that create a similarity of themes. From these common topics featured in both books, the reader is able to connect the themes of both literary works. Both of these novels…show more content…
Between people constantly worrying of who was next to be accused to the continuous conversation about the afflicted, hysteria creeped up upon the people of Salem. In both novels does the usage of hysteria enhance the plot. In I Walk in Dread, Deliverance, the protagonist of the story, is just one example of a person caught up in the drama of the witch trials. In the beginning of the novel, Mem, sister of Deliverance, and Deliverance were very close, as Mem was sick. This obviously was occurring before the craziness of the witch trials. Yet, after the witch trials began, the sisters turned against each other. After getting into a huge disagreement, Deliverance states that “[her] blood boiled through [her] and rushed to [her] fists and sent them flying at [her] sister”(138). The stress of the witch trials led hysteria to fall upon the town, leading to fights, disagreements, and accusations. Not only was this found in this novel, but it is also featured in The Crucible. In Arthur Miller’s play, hysteria is present through to the end. It is very evident that it is “contagious.” When one of the girls saw someone hurting them, the rest of them imagined it as well. When one of them started to call out names of the witches, the rest in excitement would too start calling out names. It served as a way to cover up, as it was concluded at the end of Salem witch trials that there was…show more content…
In both pieces, the entire plot is based upon the Salem Witch Trials, connecting these together yet again. In both, it all starts with Betty Parris and Abigail becoming sick and then going insane. In I Walk in Dread, the Salem witch trials began when “ Mr. Parris returned from the lecture, their girls were suffering worse than ever. What’s more, Abigail’s and Betty’s eyes have been opened to the Invisible World. Now they can see what torments them: the figures of actual people coming to pinch and hit them”(79). They claim that a witch is pinching them, and that their eyes are now open to the invisible world. Then, hysteria coming upon the population with more and more people claiming that they are afflicted. Not only does this occur in I Walk in Dread, but similarly it happens in The Crucible. The plot is very similar, but “Betty Parris, aged ten, is lying on the bed, inert”(3). She later dies from this mysterious illness that left her bedridden for long. The doctor thought and told Reverend that he would not be surprised if she died of unnatural causes. This left the town wondering if it was possible due to witchcraft. Abigail tells her uncle that “the rumor of witchcraft is all about...the parlor’s packed with people, sir”(9). The town thinks that witches are doing the Devil’s work and using witches to afflict people in Salem. In both literature, the Salem witch trials are basically
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