Salem Witch Hunt Essay

1517 WordsJul 12, 20127 Pages
The Salem witch hunt trial that occurred in the year 1692 marked a major event in the history of the town of Salem in Massachusetts. There are documents and writing about the events that took place during the Witch hunt trial, but people still question and wonder about the tragic event that killed about 19 people and why it happened. This paper will discuss the reasons that I find are most compelling in explaining why the Salem Witchcraft trials and prosecutions occurred. The puritan religious belief and gender dynamics in the puritan society helped not only shape the ideals and views of the people of Salem Town, but it also contributed to their paranoia about witchcraft which then led to the infamous events of the Salem Witch Hunt Trials. Their religious belief was the most influencing factor, but the roles that the men, women and youth of the town also became a factor in the Trials. The Witchcraft hysteria in Salem Town started with their strict puritan code which aroused the youth girl’s interest in superstition and caused their strange behavior of having fits. The girls were brought up in a society that viewed the world as being possessed with natural and supernatural phenomena. According to Richard Godbeer, the Puritans believed, “Any extraordinary event that seemed to interrupt the natural order-comets, dramatic fires [...], deformed births […], dreams and visions-carried supernatural significance.” It was then believed that the fits the girls had was as a result of witchcraft and it that it was God letting them know that he is punishing them for their sins. They also concluded that the girls were witches because it was believed that women are cunning folk and they have the power to be easily possessed and used by the devil. There are several reasons that could be thought of to figure out why the girls were having fits. The fits could have been a result of

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