The Making Of Salem, The Witch Trials Of History, Fiction, And Tourism Essay

The Making Of Salem, The Witch Trials Of History, Fiction, And Tourism Essay

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Derosa, Robin. “The Making Of Salem, The Witch Trials In History, Fiction, and Tourism”
“Miller tries both to offer a disclaimer about the imaginative aspects of his work, and to claim a higher level of veracity for the play’s authority.” (133)
“there is no evidence anywhere in any primary source documents that Proctor ever cheated on his wife with anyone.” (136) “But nowhere does he discuss that the affair has been fabricated.”
—> discussing fictionality of Miller’s text


Salem Possessed, The Social Origins of Witchcraft, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum
“commerce, not the ministry, was Parris’s first choice” ( 155)
“the witchcraft accusations of 1692 moved in channels which were determined by years of factional strife in Salem Village” (181)
anti Parris groups —> Parris didn’t want neutrality but taking sides gave you powerful enemies from either side

Beware the Loss of Conscience: "The Crucible" as Warning for Today Author(s): Judith A. Cerjak ,The English Journal, Vol. 76, No. 5 (Sep., 1987), pp. 55-57 Published by: National Council of Teachers of English
“Miller’s characters and their actions serve as a warning to the play’s audience. Danforth refuses to admit his own error. He says, “While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering.” If a group of young girls coached by a mistaken respected adult could manipulate the entire town of Salem, Miller seems to say, then what is it to stop similar manipulations in other locales in the present time? He wants us to fear the power of the group. He wants us to fear coercion. He wants us to question the “bandwagon effect” in society.” (56)
“livestock die because of witchcraft, family members turn against each other because of witchcradt, servants defy masters b...


... middle of paper ...


...f rural communities became ever more dependant on their neighbours’ charity, and many of them were forced to become petty beggars, slipping into the criminalized class of vagabonds and the unem- ployed. This tended to increase community resentment, (37)
This conflict over land usage and charity notably occurs before Sawyer has signed over her body and soul to the Devil; by showing why she is pushed to extreme measures, the playwrights expose the economic pre-conditions that transform an impoverished old woman into the social threat of the witch. (38)
The playwrights show that her curses arise out of material and class confrontation rather than infernal manipulation. Sawyer threatens retribution through witchcraft in order to protect herself; (38)
once she gains the name of witch, all the evils that occur in the community come to be ascribed to her: (38)
Reginald Scot

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