Crucible Essay

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In 1962, Salem, Massachusetts was undergoing a number of problems. Salem was known to be the Puritan land. In the play “The Crucible”, written by Arthur Miller, he talks about what happened in Salem in 1962. The Puritans believed that if any person disobeyed their religion, that they were part of witchcraft. The Puritans’ attitudes, along with the stresses of their daily lives, may have increased the likelihood of an outbreak of witchcraft hysteria.

In “The Crucible”, Reverend Parris’s daughter, Betty Parris, was caught dancing naked in the forest with her servant, Tituba, and other girls. Betty had passed out in reaction to this. She wouldn’t talk to or respond to anyone. She wouldn’t do anything. People around the town soon began to wonder if they had been doing witchcraft in the forest. Betty’s father called a doctor from another town so that he could find out if she had been bewitched. The town’s people had no evidence of what the girls were doing. All that they knew was that they had been dancing in the woods, which was against their religion.

Salem’s legal system was based on the Christian Bible. The moral laws and state laws are the same. A person’s sins and status of their soul are public concerns. A person’s private life must conform to the laws, or they would be considered a threat to the community. The Puritans were very closed minded about anything they weren’t familiar with. They held each other accountable for anything that they did. They were overly superstitious, and they blamed everything negative on the devil. State officials required citizens to tell about their activities that they participated in. If they told a lie or something that was against their beliefs, they would be sent to prison. Punishments were made public so that the citizens would be reminded of the consequences for breaking the law and going against God’s will.

The Puritans had lives that were filled with stress. Feuds and grudges took place over property. There was often...
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