The Salem Witch Trials in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

1048 Words5 Pages
Many crucial events lead to the Salem Witch trials. The trials ended in a gruesome manner, and conflicts were at the root of the cause. The Salem Witch trials were the result of illogical-mass hysteria, and were induced by grudge holding people who used the trials to harm their foes. The play opened with the girls doing something considered taboo in Puritan society, dancing in the woods. The girls involved in this were Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, Mary Warren, Ruth Putnam, and a few others. Tituba, Reverend Parris’s slave from Barbados was also with them. All of the girls involved were caught by Reverend Samuel Parris, the minister of Salem. When Reverend Parris catches the girls dancing in the woods, his daughter Betty Parris becomes ill. Abigail Williams, Parris’s niece, is questioned by Parris on what they were doing in the woods. Abigail eventually admits that they were only dancing in the woods. Abigail reveals that there are rumours in the village that witchcraft is the cause of Betty’s sickness, and Parris becomes nervous. Parris calls upon Reverend Hale, an expert on witchcraftery, to figure out what is wrong with Betty. Later, Parris asks Abigail if they were conjuring spirits in the woods and she denies it. He says that he saw Tituba chanting and that he saw someone naked. Abigail again denies that anything but dancing occurred in the woods. Next, Parris asks why Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor, fired her from her job as their maid. Abigail says that she was fired because she didn’t want to be a slave to Elizabeth and she calls Elizabeth a gossiping liar. Moments later, Mrs.Putnam enters and says that she sent Ruth Putnam to Tituba and told her to conjure dead babies in order to find out why Mrs.Putnam’s babi... ... middle of paper ... ...’s current minister, Parris. During the trials Putnam always likes to remind others that Parris saw the girls in the woods, trying to associate him with their actions. As the trials go on he accused Rebecca Nurse of being the person who harmed Ann Putnam’s dead babies. He also had his daughter Ruth accuse a landowner of witchcraft so that he could obtain his land. When all of the prominent landowners are executed, Putnam receives their land. The Salem Witch trials were started by small grudge by a girl and ended up growing into something much bigger. They provided other characters with the opportunity to harm others, and also gave characters a chance to put away their foes for good. The Salem Witch trials signify the competitive nature of people in a small village that want to have an advantage over each other, and will induce heinous acts in order accomplish that.
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