Essay on The Salem Witch Trials

Essay on The Salem Witch Trials

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In a period of a four short months, at least twenty members of the Salem, Massachusetts community died or were killed for exhibiting behavior that was considered an abomination to God. In the years following the aftermath of the Salem Witch trials, many people wondered how innocent people could die without anyone taking a stand. What would cause people to respond so irrationally? If it had not been for a small group of girls acting foolishly many families would have been spared from the tragic realities of unjustified and unfair deaths. The people that died were scapegoats. The town officials needed something or someone to blame for their lack of answers in response to the outbreak of “witchcraft” in order to clear their own names. Out of fear, society targeted scapegoats because the female accusers desperately wanted power in a male dominated culture, the scapegoats were outcasts, and because they had to blame someone in order to appear right at all times.

The foremost reason the witch hunting hysteria began, was primarily due to a group of young women obsessed with a game they invented to gain attention. It all started with nine year old Betty Parris. She began to act strangely in the winter of 1692. She appeared to have a new kind of illness. No one seemed to be able to diagnose what caused her to distort in pain and complain of many other symptoms (Linder). Today there are many theories of why she exhibited this behavior. They include ergot poisoning, stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse, epilepsy, delusional psychosis (Linder). However, the most widely accepted explanation during the time of the trials was Witchcraft. It was customary in those times to believe in witches and other supernatural ideas because of a dee...


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Discovery: News, 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Smith, Gary. "SHAW RECAPTURES ITS PASSION WITH CRUCIBLE; STAGE

DRAMA." Hamilton Spectator, The (ON) n.d.: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 14

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Village Witchcraft Outbreak of March 1692: Together with a Collection of Newly Located and Gathered Witchcraft Documents. Danvers, MA: Yeoman, 1997.

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