Hysteria and Fear of the Salem Witch Trials

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Bianca Pena
Dr. Coers
English 1302.040
Research Paper: Hysteria and Fear during the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials was a mass hysteria of executions and accusations. The fear was caused by the hysteria of women being bewitched and bewitching others. This is such a controversial event, and it’s hardly applicable to prove if the events leading to the Witch Trials were accurate. So I ask, “What were the causes of the Salem Witch Trials, and the events leading up to the causes?” Although the question is simply asked and slightly vague, the answer concluded is definitely not an easy answer due to the perspectives and numerous events that led up to the trials. There were really no particular causes for the witch trials, but there were events that led to them such as “…politics, religion, family feuds, economics, and the imaginations and fears of the people…” (Sutter). Before the witch trials, there were political worries involving the residents of Salem and the new minister Reverend Samuel Parris. The residents were outraged that their tax dollars went to Reverend Parris’s unusually special privileged income and extra accommodations that ministers do not usually get. All this was arranged by the Putnam family, who was a leading figure family in Salem since most its members made up the population, who wanted power and “…hoped to solidify a separation from Salem town…” (Sutter). After the politics there were problems with the cold winter days. It was extremely cold for a time and what can the residents of Salem do except stay in their home and try to keep warm. Rev. Parris had a small family. He was married, had a 9 yr old daughter, Betty, a 12 year old niece, Abigail Williams and a slave. Tituba the slave had a history of being able to tell fortunes. She was also from the town of Barbados, which is a superstitious town and is known for unusual happenings. During these cold days, Tituba would entertain the girls by “telling” them their fortunes...
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