The Puritan Belief That The Devil Essay

The Puritan Belief That The Devil Essay

Length: 1353 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One can also see the Puritan belief that the Devil was among them through the sermons of the one of their most influential ministers Samuel Parris. In one of his sermons, Parris preaches extensively on the presence of devils among the saints in the Church. He says that not only are there devils among them, but that Christ knows who they are. Parris suggests that the devils may be people who have chosen farms and merchandise above God. Towards the end of his sermon, he lists several sins that are certain to make one a devil. (Boyer and Nissenbaum, 129-131) This fear of the Devil influencing the people around you, let alone oneself, certainly played a role in the trials. The trials may have turned into such a hysteria because no one wanted to be considered a devil. Therefore, they accused those around them of being one. Both the fear of the Devil’s servants the Indians and the fear of the Devil among the people of Salem had a huge impact on the witch trials. Without this fear and belief, the trials would not have taken off as they did.
During the time of the Salem Witch Trials, neighborliness was a big virtue of the Puritans living in that society. The Puritan faith taught that being a good neighbor had both spiritual and practical dimensions. Colonists were supposed to keep an eye on each other and warn one another when they were in danger. Therefore, people who were bad neighbors were often frowned at and looked upon suspiciously. When colonists suspected that they had been bewitched, the first person they blamed was often a neighbor with whom they had had a conflict with in the past. Witch accusations often occurred when one neighbor felt mistreated, and therefore, turned to witchcraft as a form of revenge. Neighborliness ca...

... middle of paper ...

...that there are other explanations for the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials, but the Puritan’s and their beliefs can be found in almost every argument.
Though we may not be hanging people for being witches in modern day society, American’s today are accusing people of being something they are not. Like the colonists during 1692 feared the Devil and his servants, American’s today fear terrorist groups and their members. Because we are so afraid of terrorists and what they can do, we are automatically afraid of everyone associated with them. In the past decade, the fear of Muslims in America has escalated at an alarming rate. People associate Muslims with terrorism and therefore think all Muslims are terrorists. Just like the witches of Salem, this is not the case. If we are not careful, we may soon be asking – why did the Muslim Hunt of the 21st century occur?

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Goodman Brown And The Puritan Times Essay

- To begin with Goodman brown is a storytelling in the puritan times in where faith in God was everything, at the time the most important thing to have virtue was to believe in God. This man was a true believer, a loving husband and a good citizen, but in a moment of weakness started to ask for answers that only one person could answer. The curiosity invited his heart and let him leave his wife to go on a journey that was evil as good. During ¨Young Goodman Brown¨ faith is based on others where he only sees the bad in everyone else but himself and get lost in his own choice, leaving himself enervated....   [tags: God, Devil, DevIL, Guilt]

Better Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

Witchcraft And The Puritan Culture Essay

- Tituba is rarely at the center of attention when the Salem Witch trials are in discussion. In fact, the only time she seems to ever be mentioned is to state that she is the link between witchcraft and the adolescent girls of Salem (Breslaw. Xx). Witchcraft is defined, by Webster’s dictionary, as the “magical things that are done by witches: the use of magical powers obtained especially from evil spirits”. Although words are known to change throughout the years, witchcraft, for the most part, has remained the same, but has various interpretations, specifically in Tituba’s Arawak culture, the culture Tituba was born into and the Puritan culture in which she was forced into....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Magic]

Better Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)

The Devil and Tom Walker by William Irving Essay

- Written during the American Romanticism period, “The Devil and Tom Walker,” by William Irving, personifies the belief in the primacy of imagination. The period of Romanticism in America is often seen as the crucial period of American culture, as it was the central movement of the Renaissance period that moved into a more free-feeling and artistic approach to literature. American Gothic literature made its early appearance with William Irving, first with “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in 1820, and carrying over to “The Devil and Tom Walker” in 1824, both of which use a macabre approach to establish a moral ending (Matterson)....   [tags: american romanticism, imagination]

Better Essays
1631 words (4.7 pages)

The Puritan Religion’s Influence on Children Essay

- ... Also, children lived with the fear of not experiencing God for their memberships to the church. In this time, to be a citizen, you had to be a member of the church. When the children of the elect were born, they were automatically given membership to the church, because they were for surely experience God. When some of them did not, they lived inconstant fear of what was to to come of them and their future children. The constant fears and pressures of the Puritan child lead to problems within the community (Campbell)....   [tags: religious beliefs and parenting]

Better Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Accusation of Witches in Puritan, New England

- The American weakness in times of trouble is the instinctive act of finding a scapegoat. Stemming from the Calvinistic religious beliefs of the Puritans who immigrated to America, anything that strays from the predestined lives of these puritanical people is the result of sin. The ideas of "original sin" and "predestination" are at the heart of Calvinism. Thus, the Calvinist Puritans have their lives planned out for them by God before birth and anything that disrupts that plan must be eradicated....   [tags: Salem Witch Trials, Witch Hunt]

Better Essays
1622 words (4.6 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a Liberal Puritan Essay

- Nathaniel Hawthorne's best known short stories including Young Goodman Brown, The Minister's Black Veil, and The Birthmark, should be considered some of the great works of American literature because their exploration of enduring American themes of moral struggle. The short stories demonstrate a masterful command of symbolism and allegory. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804. Descended from a staunch Puritan family, Hawthorne?s father was a presiding judge over the Salem Witch Trials....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about The Crucible By Arthur Miller

- Austere religions with black and white definitions for right and wrong are bound to result in the deception of a suppressed people. With the cornerstone of Puritan lifestyle being the church, their community is profoundly influenced by religious philosophy and beliefs. Anything believed to be a contradiction of their religious moral code is deemed to be sin, and directly connected to the devil. Devil worship and witchcraft is conjured by means of fear that gives superstition power, and those accused of unnatural behavior receive harsh castigation....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Puritan, The Crucible]

Better Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

Witchcraft Hysteria in Puritan New England Essay

- Witchcraft Hysteria in Puritan New England In 1692, the problems following Massachusetts’s change from Puritan Utopia to royal colony had an unusual increase in the witchcraft hysteria at Salem Village (now the town of Danvers). Although the belief in witchcraft had started a huge problem in Salem, almost 300 New Englanders (mostly lower class, middle-aged, marginal women – spinsters or widows) had been accused as witches, and more than thirty had been hanged. With this issue in Salem all superiority in its scope and intensity....   [tags: American America History]

Free Essays
687 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Salem Witch Trials as a Form of Control of the Puritan Society

- The Salem Witchcraft Trials as a Form of Control of the Puritan Society The Salem witchcraft trials resulted from a climate of repression, religious intolerance, and social hierarchy combined with fanaticism and the oppression of women. The Puritan leaders used the trials as a way to control the community and to prevent change in the strict social hierarchy. The trials ensured that the teachings of the church would be followed - anyone not following the church was simply accused of being a witch and punished accordingly....   [tags: Religious Intolerance Witchcraft ]

Better Essays
2792 words (8 pages)

Clash of Belief Systems in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay example

- Clash of Belief Systems in The Scarlet Letter Each person bases their judgment of others upon their own values or belief systems. These values or belief systems are influenced by experiences in the home and at school. The prevailing culture in an area has a tremendous impact on the belief systems of the child as well. It is easy for a child to learn the difference between right and wrong, but they may fail to grasp the fact that the values they are taught are filtered through the belief systems of those who teach....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Better Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)