Throughout history, cruel and unusual punishment has been targeted against the minority of these groups: racial, religious, gender, and belief. These groups have suffered tremendously; especially because most of them were innocent. In the play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, a group of women were tortured because of their alleged beliefs. In this play, these women were prosecuted for practicing witchcraft, the use of supernatural powers. The hysteria in the Salem witch trials were due to people fearing the act of witchcraft. The hysteria and mindset of the Salem witch trials can be compared that of the Holocaust in several significant ways.
The hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials led to many people being falsely accused of witchcraft. Enemies accused each other to get back at one another for what had previously happened in their lives. On page 74, Cheever came into the Proctor home and took the poppet Mary Warren had just given to Elizabeth. Cheever found a needle in the poppet and then explained to Proctor and Hale, “’The girl, the Williams girl, Abigail Williams, sir. She sat to dinner in Reverend Parris’s house tonight, and without word nor warnin’ she falls to the floor. Like a struck beast, he says, and screamed a scream that a bull would weep to hear. And he goes to save her, and, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out. And demandin’ of her how she come to be so stabbed, she testify it were your wife’s familiar spirit pushed it in.’” Abigail Williams has animosity towards Elizabeth Proctor because Abigail was in love with Elizabeth’s husband, John. Abigail used the witch trials to frame Elizabeth. Elizabeth was then arrested because the poppet Mary Warren gave her was used as proof that Elizabeth was practicing voodoo, an element of witchcraft. On page 77, John Proctor said, “’…Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as...
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