Salem Witch Trials Research Paper

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In the year 1692, a group of girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, started to become ill and display repulsive symptoms such as fits, contortions, choking sensations, hallucinations, and loss of hearing, speech, sight, and memory. After a local doctor had claimed that these symptoms were due to bewitchment, these girls, pressured to reveal the reasons behind their eccentric behavior, ended up accusing innocent citizens. As a result, a series of witchcraft trials were held. Hundreds of people were accused of practicing witchcraft and twenty people were gruesomely executed. This devastating event was called the Salem witch trials. This event developed from a myriad of problems. The causes of this famous outbreak were mostly derived from societal…show more content…
As unmarried teenagers, the adults ridded them of all their say in their own life decisions. Gail Collins, describing the monotonous yet laborious way of living that the elderly had forced upon the teenage girls, states “many of them, even those from well-to-do families, were sent away from home to work as servants, to learn domestic skills and the proper spirit of obedience” (36). Detesting the oppression of their elderly, the girls wanted to break free from their low social statuses. They believed that gaining attention through the pretense of affliction placed them in a higher position on the social hierarchy. Laurie Winn Carlson, in her book A Fever in Salem, asserts that “the opinion that the victims were creating their own fits as challenges to authority and quests for fame has shaped most interpretations of what happened in 1692” (121). Getting a great deal of attention, these girls were placed in powerful statuses with the entire adult world at their mercy. This new position granted the girls an opportunity to control their own fates as well as the fates of others. As a result, the more attention they had, the more they threw their fits, and the more they…show more content…
The Puritans’ fear of the devil all began from their belief that the Native Americans were connected to the devil. These fears originated from Tituba, an Indian slave, who told the teenage girls stories about how she was working for the Devil. Moreover, the fear of the Indians’ connection with the devil continued as Indian Wars broke out. During King Phillips War in 1675, Puritan preachers taught the idea that “Indians” were acting in league with the devil in order to destroy the Puritan communities (“What Puritan Attitudes Lead to the Salem Witch Trials?”). At that time, Puritans also strongly believed that witchcraft was in alliance with the devil. As a result, the Puritans concluded that members of society, specifically women and children, who were lacking the ability to uphold Puritan morals, were those who were chosen by the Devil to carry out his work. Young teenagers, instilled with the fear of the Devil, eventually developed mental illnesses, further inducing panic and widespread

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