Whenever hysteria occurs, it appears to tolerate the misinterpretation of reality, unspeakable actions and baseless allegations causing societies to break. In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller the author of the book, depicts this throughout the story. The Crucible takes place in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692.
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There are several key settings throughout the story. The entire book is about how an insignificant group of girls create mass hysteria in a small town, and how it impacts hundreds of people. The story begins when a group of girls dance in the woods with a black slave named Tituba. While they dance, they are discovered by Reverend Parris, the local minister of Salem. Betty, Parris daughter, fall unconscious on the ground when she sees him. Soon people gather up in Parris home while rumors about witchcraft go around the town.
Everything and everyone in Salem simply belongs to God or to the devil; argument is not merely illegal, it is linked with satanic activity. This contrast functions as the underlying logic of why the witch trials take place. Hysteria plays an important role in the town of Salem through power of manipulation and fear which is evident in the decisions of those who accuse, those who are accused and those who judge them.
Back in history, women usually stayed at home, cleaned the house and cooked and sewed. They didnt go out to work as often and many girls didnt even get to go to school. Men were considered to be much more important than women, white people were considered of high status than any other race and the wealthy had more position and power than the poor. The Crucible portrays these divisions, and privileges that certain characters have over the other and how they accuse and manipulate people to their own advantage.
Firstly, when Parris say, Such a Christian that will not come to church but once in a month!(Miller 84) or Her’s come to overthrow this court, Your Honour(Miller 85). He is unhesitant to blame people that didn’t like him, and tries to win favour in the town by being a kiss-up to the judges. Also, in his desperate attempt to protect his reputation, he conveniently hid the fact that Abigail Williams had been caught casting spells in the forest. As Miller says,the paranoid, real or pretended, always secretes its pearl around a grain of fact. Blinded by keeping their public reputation, the people of Salem fear that the sins of their friends, family and their close ones will taint their names. Furthermore, Mrs. Putnams believes, If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property…killing neighbors for their land(Miller 89). She was too obsessed on blaming other people for the death of her children.
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