Had the adults of Salem not believed the girls who were accusing social outcasts of witchcraft, no mass hysteria would have occurred. The power of suggestion is only as strong as the person making the suggestion. For this reason, a person with power or in a position of power has started many of the accusations that have lead to mass hysterias in the past. Sociologists Robert E Bartholomew and Erich Goode suggest that excessive discipline contributes to mass hysteria by limiting the individual’s ability to act and express oneself. When an individual in power makes the initial suggestion, the people who can’t express themselves act out in a manner, which has been deemed acceptable by the suggestion (Bartholomew and Goode).
If the declaration had been functioning during those past moments, it would have occured, most likely, that the victims of the illegal charge of witchcraft, might have been given a life-time jail sentence and not the death-penalty by being hanged or crushed. Another article that had been clearly violated during the Salem witch trials was article five, which states that "everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law". Many thought of the women accused of practicing witchcraft to be diabolic and inhuman ; in fact, they were thought of human figures of the devil. This would clearly interfere with the judgeÂ´s veredict and it would be almost impossible for the victimis to save themselves from being condemned to death. If these victims of whom most were in their late fifties, had been seen as people who are just like us, they would have been saved from such destiny.
The fact that these executions and the accompanying demonological theories were accepted and popular amongst society can be further explained through the lack of social and ethical standards of people, which spread throughout society at that time. Although these certain conditions provided the foundation for the witch-hunts, demographic and economic changes explain further reasons why witch-hunts were geared towards women. The witch-hunts fluctuated for nearly three centuries, with great variations in time and space. Despite the involvement of church authorities, “the vast majority of witches were condemned by secular courts,” with local courts closely noted for their abusive ways (Gibbons, Recent Developments). This across the board procedure in most countries was for accused witched to be brought before investigating court of law and were interrogated.
Crucible/Modern-day Witch Hunt The “Wenatchee sex ring witch hunt” parallels the witch-hunt of The Crucible because in both cases devout Christians are being unfairly persecuted as a result of unfounded accusations made by teenagers, who are incapable of understanding the ramifications of their accusations. The most obvious example from The Crucible is when Rebecca nurse, the saintly, angelic character of the play, is accused of witchcraft by guilty teenagers trying to shift the focus of blame away from themselves. In act II Reverend Hale, who is brought to rid the evil from Salem, is troubled about Rebecca’s accusation and that “… if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing’s left to stop the whole green world from burning” (Miller 67). It is somewhat ironic that Mr. Hale is so concerned and in disbelief of Rebecca being accused yet he let’s her fate “… rest upon the justice of the court” (Miller 67). However, that very court was itself guilty of unjustifiably assuming that the accused were guilty of witchcraft and would sentence them to death unless they admitted to such.
The Civil Rights Movements and The Salem witchcraft trials Since the witch trials times in Salem and before, fear and persecution have acted on people’s life. It doesn’t matter if the person was one of the involved or not, it affected indirectectly everyone around. Arthur Miller in the Crucible showed a perfect fear and persecution scenery using the Salem witchcraft trials as and example. Arthur Miller used the Crucible to represent the Mc Cartheism, when the communists were been “persecuted” and everyone was pointing fingers to the enemies. As in Salem, it started with a small portion of people trying to accuse people for personal reasons and ended with a big mass of ruined lives without any evidence.
‘The Devil on Trial’ by Phillip Margulies and Maxine Rosaler The book, The Devil on Trial: Witches, Anarchists, Atheists, Communists, and Terrorists in America’s Courtroom, discusses the rights people have in the courtroom. It tells the stories of cases that tested the court system’s ability to give everyone the right to a fair trial. The trials mentioned in the book are the Salem Witch Trials, the Haymarket Bomb Trial, the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, the Trials of Alger Hiss, and the Trials of Zacarias Moussaoui. In 1692, during the Salem Witch Trials, the legal systems were not as fair as they would become. “There was no police force; officials called “magistrates” performed the roles of judges.
Well as I have stated, The Crucible is an allegory of the Red Scare. In the book The Crucible a group of young girls are accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. accuse almost anyone of being a witch. Anyone seen as acting strange was accused of witchcraft. Anyone even being around strange coincidences were accused of witchcraft.
Many try to explain or rationalize the bizarre happenings of the witch hunts and the causes that contributed to them. To understand the trials and how they came to be, we must first examine the ideals and views of the people surrounding the events. Although religious beliefs were the most influential factor, socioeconomic tensions, and ergot poisoning are also strongly supported theories The Ergot Poisoning Theory The Salem witch trials have fascinated historians for centuries, largely because of their bizarre nature and the great uncertainty that surrounds them. One of the most intensely debated topics is the question of why the girls began to accuse seemingly random townspeople of witchcraft. However, there is little evidence to support any theory, and consequently historians
The initial case sparked many others, and witchcraft was seen everywhere, just as after 9-11, terrorists are seen everywhere. The act of racial profiling is just another type of witch trial, and it continues to this day. Racial profiling “refers to government activity directed at a suspect or group of suspects because of their race, whether intentional or because of the disproportionate numbers of contacts based upon other pre-textual reasons” (Siggins par. 8). Basically meaning that innocent, or possibly innocent people, are suspected solely on the basis of their race, due to previous issues with others of that heritage.
It makes perfect sense as to why Miller wrote The Crucible allegorically to these events, 1953 was a time in which American fear and madness concerning communism was frankly getting out of control, just as the experiences in Salem were in the 1690s. The Crucible is a historically fictitious adaption of the Salem Witch Trials which as previously stated, was an episode of unjust accusations of witchcraft/devil worship carried out by a group of female teens. In the play, the group of accusing teens is led by girl named Abigail Williams. In order to refocus the “heat” on another source in order to save herself from trouble, her and her peers wrongfully stage a phenomenon of witchcraft in Salem, producing mass panic in the community for months on end. It got so bad in fact, that at one point Abigail implied that even the official court judges could be guilty of wicked doings; “Let you beware, Mr. Danforth.