Essay Witchcraft In Salem

This was necessary, because admitting that feeling attracted to a woman resulted in feelings of sexual desire and desire felt outside of the wedding bond must certainly have been caused by the Devil (Ehrenreich, 32) If a farm failed, cattle became sick, a baby was born stillborn, all of these misfortunes were attributed to Satan.

"But most misfortunes were undoubtedly caused by accident, disease, and mistakes," (Hill 32) Women who took up occupations more commonly associated with men (such as Bridget Bishop who was an innkeeper), taking up opposing religious standards (as happened with George Burroughs who believed in a greater level of free will), and criminal occupations (such as Giles Corey who had committed murder).

It is also sad to note how one innocent human life was taken due to the horrible way these accused folk were treated.

In the late sixteen hundreds, many disasters, deaths, and illnesses were blamed on witches.

Moreover, according to Mather, Quakers were "under the strong delusions of Satan" (Rape pp).

Jane Kamensky writes that Cotton Mather cautioned women, "daughters of Zion" that their "Tongues are frequently not so Governed by the Fear of God as they ought to be" and that the pious matron need to cultivate a "silver tongue" Speech rare and pure, free of boastful dross" (Kamensky pp) Like Mather, the majority of people believed that could "hear the Devil's presence in the speech of a local woman before their other senses offered corroborating evidence" (Kamensky pp).The girls were probably then placed under enormous pressure to name names.Rather than admit to what probably started out as a game, the girls became frightened and a little excited as they became caught up in the frenzy of the witch hunts.Their fears continued to escalate and their new motto became accuse or be accused.They were afraid if they didn't accuse that person who they had an argument with last week , then that person might turn around and accuse them. The most obvious causes were the girls need for attention, and the fears and imaginations of the people.It all seems to begin when Reverend Samuel Parris's daughter and niece get caught up in seemingly harmless voodoo and fortune telling with their African slave Tituba.It is in this climate that in January of 1692, that Elizabeth Parris (Reverend Parris's daughter), age 9, and his niece Abigail Williams, age 11, began having "fits" (Roach, 2013) The colonists blamed the Devil for the bickering occurring in the village.It is in this climate that in January of 1692, that Elizabeth Parris (Reverend Parris's daughter), age 9, and his niece Abigail Williams, age 11, began having "fits" (Roach, 2013) Witches became the popular excuse for personal, financial, or other failings - when a married man found himself sexually attracted to a young single woman, he blamed his resulting feelings upon the woman and attributed her power over him to witch craft.People who opposed the trials, who spoke out against the establishment or in support of the accused could easily be interpreted as being in support of the witches and, thus by extension, witches themselves (Lindley 17) The idea of the witch was one that found roots deep within Puritan religious practice."Colonial New Englanders drew from a long tradition of tales an witchcraft rituals that described Satan's temptations and crafty ways," (Reis 61) Once the anti-witch hysteria went into full gear, no one was safe - more than twenty people had been executed as witches (including a minister), another half-dozen died in jail, and only seven people accused did not face either fate (Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities, n pag).


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