Persecutions were the order of the day. When a finger was pointed at any individual as a witch, the Deputy Governor Danforth never looked for evidence against them or evidence that incriminated them; he ordered them to be hanged. This can be seen through his words “Hang them high over the town! Who weeps for those, weeps for corruption!” (1273), the people were persecuted aimlessly. The four main characters in the play, John Proctor, Abigail Adams, Reverend Hale and Reverend Parris, are caught in the middle of the witchcraft panic in the religious Salem, Massachusetts in late 1690’s.
to the people of Salem. The comparison of the two time periods led to the writing of The Crucible. The destruction of lives is a theme that is very evident in The Crucible because throughout the whole play almost everyone that was accused of practicing witchcraft was charged as guilty and in turn their lives were ruined. Even the people that were deemed innocent and good citizens by the community of Salem were falsely accused. Rebecca Nurse is a prime example of someone who was seen as very respectable and kind was falsely accused with little to no physical or practical evidence.
If there was a wind storm and a fence was knocked down, people believed that their neighbors used witchcraft to do it. Everyone from ordinary people to the governor’s wife was accused of witchcraft. Even a pregnant woman and the most perfect puritan woman were accused. No one in the small town was safe. As one can see, the chaotic Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were caused by superstition, the strict puritan lifestyle, religious beliefs, and hysteria.
They create fear and redemption, a fight for what is right and what your conscience tells you. In 1692, people were being wrongly accused of witchcraft, they were put on trial and executed, this is exactly the same as the events in 1950, people were being accused of communism, they were also put on trial and executed. In Salem it was due to the girls dancing in the woods and being accused of worshiping the devil, in America in 1950 it was due to the accusations of Senator Joseph McCarthy, which he could not prove. Miller could not criticise Senator McCarthy at the time of his power as the atmosphere at the time was such that he would certainly have been charged as a Communist, so he decided he would write about the Salem witch trials in the 17th century, it shows how the trials in Salem were very similar to the McCarthy period, it was even referred to as a ‘witch hunt’ by critics. In both periods there was a varied atmosphere of fear, redemption, hysteria, terror and shear brutality.
McCarthyism as Modern Witch Hunts McCarthyism: The Real "Witch Hunts" Some people nowadays may consider the government, or some of its agencies, corrupt. Today's scenario is nothing compared to that of McCarthyism in the 1950s. During McCarthyism, the nation was being torn apart. Their loyalty to one another was crushed and common human decency went down the drain (Miller, Crucible xiv). These Communist hunts were eerily similar to the witch hunts and trials of Salem Massachusetts in the 1600s.
The law system was unfair during the trials, so when or if someone was accused the court would side with the accuser, unless of course, they were a witch themselves. In conclusion, the people who died and who were accused of witchcraft were not really witches, Salem and it’s inhabitants were under the influence of mass hysteria, personal beliefs and grudges that eventually became the chaos of the Salem witch hunts of
I believe that Abigail Williams is to blame for turning the town of Salem against many people, and I think it is her fault that several people were killed. Abigail Williams sends the town into a state of hysteria by accusing men and women of practicing the satanic art of witchcraft. Abigail’s flaws - her lustful desire for John Proctor, her deceptive habit of lying in order to retain her good name in the town, and her selfishness and obsessive aspiration for power – led her to be ultimately responsible for the catastrophe of the witch hunt in Salem. The first reason Abigail is to blame for the deaths of the innocent Puritans is her lustful personal ambition to be John Proctor’s wife. John and Abigail previously had an affair, which basically began the hysteria.
The prime example is Sarah Bishop who had once before been accused of witchcraft in another town, and had a permanently scarred reputation because of the prior accusation. This made her an easy target for the town, a woman whose reputation already has witch on it, who won’t admit to witchcraft and that no one will vouch for.It was easier to believe that this womna got onvolves in witchery if she had been suspect of it before. McCarthys Sarah Bishop is a couple who went to the electric chair. The Rosenbergs had been under suspicion of selling nuclear secrets to the Russians the year before, making people believe this couple had been caught selling secrets again was an easy task.
Abigail lies to save herself by giving the names of others to be killed. “You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (88). Abigail also uses threats of violence and the thought of her actually knowing some real witchcraft to scare them into not speaking up about what was really going on with her. She is very evil, and throughout the novel driven t... ... middle of paper ... ...imation of irony considering the prodigious amounts of lies are told in order to “protect” the court and the people of Salem. The process of proving the guilty and finding the innocent involved with witchcraft has a lot to do with the greed, selfishness and personal grudges that the characters display throughout the trials.
He can either confess to a crime he is innocent of to save himself from execution, or die proclaiming his innocence. He ends up choosing death because a false confession would mean implicating other accused people, including Rebecca Nurse. (Rovere 2632) Proctor feels she is good and pure, unlike his adulterous self, and does not want to tarnish her good name and the names of his other innocent friends by implicating them. (Warshow 117) By choosing death, Proctor takes the high road and becomes a true tragic hero. The reader feels that his punishment is unjust (especially since the crime of witchcraft is imagined and unprovable.)