Mass Hysteria In The Crucible

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Throughout history, human kind has exhibited more than a handful of bizarre behaviors; causes ranging from common beliefs, ignorance, superiority complexes, to those far too mental to be comprehended. In 1962, a terrible and shocking episode of continuous murders arose in the New England colony of Salem, Massachusetts. Upon impeachments that lacked any credible evidence, local dwellers were accused of upholding paranormal relations with malicious spirits and often the devil itself. The results included the manslaughter of many, in addition to the irrevocable change in the lives of those involved, all of which were caused and ordered by a court of members biased by sexism and the new-blooming mass hysteria, in an attempt to appease the population.…show more content…
As enlightened motives for the trials have been hypothesized, contemporary investigators speculate the girls’ aversive conducts were product of mental decay far too convoluted to have been recognized back in 1962. Among the most likely illnesses to have taken over the children we find mass hysteria. The definition of hysteria is “an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, or weeping” which is extremely fitting to the girl’s behavior. As previously stated, there was a vigorous belief in the devil at Salem the time before the trials. Stories of such tenebrous caliber were likely to alarm the young girls. Their fright would be such that they would eventually be driven to hysteria, due to their caliginous surroundings. On the contrary, some scientists believe that the Salem Witch Trials were a result of ergot poisoning. Ergot poisoning is caused by a fungus that grows on rye and other grains that would have been grown in the Salem settlement. The poison can also be passed down from mothers to infants through breast milk. Some of the symptoms of ergot poisoning include convulsive fits, muscle spasms, parasthesia, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations. Hallucinations as well as convulsive fits would explain the strange behavior of the

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