Persuasions Of The Witch Analysis

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To Believe or Not to Believe: Rationalizing the Irrational Paul Stoller became a witchcraft sorcerer. At first he was reluctant, but as time passed on- he began adjusting to it. When he went to Mehanna, Niger to do his fieldwork, his main interest was the Songhay people and its culture. He didn’t think his interest would turn into curiosity and eventually, to become involved in its religion on a personal level. One might be questioning how an educated anthropologist became involved in such a religion so primitive, it’s considered irrational. In order to understand that, one must understand the social processes Paul went through in his journey to believe. These processes called Interpretive Drift became an important role in Stoller’s journey toward his belief in magic. In the beginning, Paul himself thought of witchcraft to be a fake, therefore an irrational thing. However, his curiosity got the best of him and he slowly started to change his beliefs. As he gradually immersed himself in Songhay’s culture, his mind became more accepting to its traditions, customs, and eventually, the religion. At first, Paul did not want to get personally involved because that would compromise his professionalism. (Stoller, Olkes 1987:…show more content…
She says that the “analytic mind (Paul) cannot work magic” and that in order to believe, “one has to free himself from the shackles of everyday awareness and focuses his entire being in obtaining his goal” (Luhrmann 1989: 120). Another example of Paul’s shift towards belief is when Djibo was teaching him the citations: Paul felt frustrated and sometimes even sarcastic because he thought these rituals and experiments were just nonsense. Luhrmann explains what Paul is going through: “the non-magician feels confused, even angry, when listening to a magician because the conversation violates his common sense…” (Luhrmann 1989:
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