Paranoia

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PARANOIA

Ashley
19 October 2012

Personality refers to thoughts, feelings, and behavior. (Allan) Everyone has a different personality, whether it is good or bad. Sometimes a person’s personality is affected with a disease, such as paranoia. Paranoia is a mental disorder characterized by systematic delusions. (Lindstrom) It leads to disturbances of consciousness and sometimes progresses into aggressive behavior and physical conduct. (Lindstrom). Paranoia can also cause people to tell lies to protect themselves. Below paranoia lies an unwelcomed truth; the unwelcomed truth in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller (1692) is what the girls were doing in the woods, committing a sin. (Miller) Paranoia can be caused by a traumatic incident or physical injury.(Manfredi) Betty and Ruth were two of several girls that were dancing in the woods. In the Puritan culture, dancing is considered a sin. The minister of Salem Massachusetts, Reverend Samuel Parris, caught the girls in the woods committing a sin, which was dancing. Some people do not want to remember such bad memories as these because it scares them. Fear may be a great motivator because the girls were motivated to not get in trouble, so they acted like they were sick. “It is always with us, this anxiety,” (Miller). Arthur Miller is referring to the anxiety of Betty and Ruth. They know that they have done the wrong thing and they do not want to be looked down upon by the town and the Reverend. Religious Paranoia is the fear of being attacked by an outside agent. (Manfredi) The outside agent in “The Crucible” is Reverend Parris. The girls are afraid of the punishment that Parris will give them for dancing in the woods. They know Tituba, a Barbados slave committed to Betty, was conjuring the dead babies of Goody Putnam. Conjuring and trying to converse with the dead is a sin. Goody Putnam had 8 kids. Seven of her kids died as infants, so she asked Tituba to try to talk to her dead babies to find out why they died....
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