The witchcraft trials in Salem in 1692 were a result of many different elements that were going on within the town. Jealousy was the cornerstone of the mass hysteria that soon became known as the Salem witch trials. In his play, The Crucible, Miller demonstrates how the fear of people in authority can destroy a community by bringing it to mass hysteria through the characters of Parris, Putnam, and Proctor.
Reverend Parris, the minister in Salem, fears the people of the town to a point where he can hardly leave his house without believing that someone is plotting against him. Reverend Parris has a suspicion that there is a faction in the church that is looking to overthrow him just as they have overthrown that past 2 ministers before him. He explains this idea of faction to John Proctor, who he assumes to be a member of this. Reverend Parris’ daughter, Betty, was the first one that caught the sickness, his servant, Tituba, was the first one that called out names accusing women of signing themselves to the devil, and niece, Abigail, was the first girl to call out accusations which began the mass hysteria in Salem. He fears that by his daughter and niece calling out names, it will give the people a reason to overthrow him, but he is presently surprised when the people are happy that it is in his house because his house is now the center for ridding Salem of the devil. The fear of being overthrown affects every action that Reverend Parris makes, which is why, in the end of the play, he is pleading with Elizabeth Proctor to go to John’s rescue and tell him to not give up his life. He realized that Abigail and Mercy had run away because it was all a lie, and now he would be the one to blame, which would surely give rise to rebellion that would cause him to leave Salem.
Thomas Putnam, a man that was highly thought of in Salem, feared another person having more power or land in Salem that he did. In an accusation from Giles Corey, Giles claims that Putnam forced his...
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