Essay on The Moral Panic Of The Salem Witch Trials

Essay on The Moral Panic Of The Salem Witch Trials

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Society throughout time has proven to be a frail and feeble structure that has failed to maintain organization on multiple occasions. People have demonstrated that with just enough chaos and pressure, they will have no qualms with deserting their morals at the sight of adversity. Whether it be creating a witch hunt to better the lives of the poor, or putting fellow American citizens’ in concentration camps based off their Japanese ancestry. There is no boundary that people won’t cross in order to feel safe and justified in their decisions. In Isaac Reed’s article,” Deep culture in action: resignification, synecdoche, and metanarrative in the moral panic of the Salem Witch Trials”, he examines the concept of moral panics as a whole, the history of The Salem Witch Trials, and the importance of sermons in Salem.
Reed begins his narrative by examining the origins of a “social panic” as a whole, discussing the numerous elements that go into carrying out the act. A common misconception is the belief that moral panics happen spontaneously. Reed discusses the social origins and groups that have pushed these movements into the front line of society. The first social origin that is discussed is the Elite Engineered, which is when high class individuals of a society puts the focus on a “folk devil” or similar distraction (Reed, 2015, para. 7). This is mean to divert attention so that they may do as they please without any retribution from the common public. Then Reed describes Grassroots, which is when a panic amplifies due to the emotions in a widespread population (Reed, 2015, para. 7). This is generally due to a large group of people being fearful of something they are uneducated about, which in turn makes them feel as though they are be...


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...er of innocents with the hope that all that was wrong with the world would go away.
In Isaac Reed’s article,” Deep culture in action: resignification, synecdoche, and metanarrative in the moral panic of the Salem Witch Trials”, he manages to bring some concrete logic to the mystery that was The Salem Witch Trials. He started by giving a foundation of knowledge on the origins of a moral panic, making sure that there was explanation for every facet. He then discussed and analyzed Salem’s traumatic reaction to the idea of witches being amongst them and the uncertainty of the of the town ‘s future. Lastly Reed explained the importance of the sermons in Salem, and how they managed to convince the uneducated people to commit murder. Not only did they convince the people to commit these cruel and evil crimes, but the managed to make them feel justified in their decisions.

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