⌚ Paranoia Salem Witch Trials
Paranoid Fantasy Podcast: Salem Witch Trials (S1 : EP4)
Wilkins recalled that Willard had looked at him strangely and decided he had caused the ailment. The Putnams, the same family that harbored a grudge against Minister Burroughs, accused Willard of having killed their baby years before, when she had died at just a few months of age. Willard was apparently her occasional babysitter. These longstanding rivalries all led to accusations of witchcraft. The trial Of Giles Corey. This stubborn refusal to stand trial—Corey did not wish to forfeit his estate to the government if convicted—horrified Salem Village; instead of waiting for him to enter a plea they decided to press him between two stones until he died. For days, he was tortured by the heavy weights.
Due to his refusal to stand trial, Corey died in full possession of his estate, which reverted to his heirs. One was shot to death when a girl who suffered from convulsions accused it of bewitching her. Another , supposedly a victim of accused men who fled from Salem before they could be tried and arrested, was put to death. But the truth about Proctor, Cory, Burroughs and the other men of Salem is just as horrifying as fiction. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault.
Recommended for you. Knights of Labor. Were witches burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials? Salem Witch Trials. If you're an old beggar woman who sometimes takes shelter in this creepy shack, you better believe these jerks are gonna turn on you as soon as anyone says the word "witch. The desire to preserve and gain power pervades The Crucible as the witch trials lead to dramatic changes in which characters hold the greatest control over the course of events.
Where before she was just an orphaned teenager, now, in the midst of the trials, she becomes the main witness to the inner workings of a Satanic plot. The main pillars of traditional power are represented by the law and the church. These two institutions fuse together in The Crucible to actively encourage accusers and discourage rational explanations of events. The girls are essentially given permission by authority figures to continue their act because they are made to feel special and important for their participation. The people in charge are so eager to hold onto their power that if anyone disagrees with them in the way the trials are conducted, it is taken as a personal affront and challenge to their authority.
Danforth, Hathorne, and Parris become even more rigid in their views when they feel they are under attack. As mentioned in the overview, religion holds significant power over the people of Salem. Reverend Parris is in a position of power as the town's spiritual leader, but he is insecure about his authority. He believes there is a group of people in town determined to remove him from this position, and he will say and do whatever it takes to retain control.
This causes problems down the line as Parris allows his paranoia about losing his position to translate into enthusiasm for the witch hunt. Abigail, on the other hand, faces an uphill battle towards more power over her situation. She is clearly outspoken and dominant, but her initial position in society is one of very little influence and authority. Abigail accuses Tituba first because Tituba is the one person below her on the ladder of power, so she makes an easy scapegoat. If Tituba was permitted to explain what really happened, the ensuing tragedy might have been prevented. No one will listen to Tituba until she agrees to confirm the version of events that the people in traditional positions of authority have already decided is true, a pattern which continues throughout the play.
By Act 2, there have been notable changes in the power structure in Salem as a result of the ongoing trials. This new power is exciting and very dangerous because it encourages the girls to make additional accusations in order to preserve their value in the eyes of the court. Abigail, in particular, has quickly risen from a nobody to one of the most influential people in Salem. No one thinks a teenage orphan girl is capable of such extensive deception or delusion , so she is consistently trusted. She openly threatens Danforth for even entertaining Mary and John's accusations of fraud against her. Though Danforth is the most powerful official figure in court, Abigail manipulates him easily with her performance as a victim of witchcraft.
He's already accepted her testimony as evidence, so he is happy for any excuse to believe her over John and Mary. John finally comes to the realization that Mary's truthful testimony cannot compete with the hysteria that has taken hold of the court. The petition he presents to Danforth is used as a weapon against the signers rather than a proof of the innocence of Elizabeth, Martha, and Rebecca. Abigail's version of events is held to be true even after John confesses to their affair in a final effort to discredit her. Logic has no power to combat paranoia and superstition even when the claims of the girls are clearly fraudulent. John Proctor surrenders his agency at the end of Act 3 in despair at the determination of the court to pursue the accusations of witchcraft and ignore all evidence of their falsehood.
By Act 4, many of the power structures that were firmly in place earlier in the play have disintegrated. Reverend Parris has fallen from his position of authority as a result of the outcomes of the trials. In Act 1 he jumped on board with the hysteria to preserve his power, but he ended up losing what little authority he had in the first place and, according to Miller's afterward, was voted out of office soon after the end of the play. The prisoners have lost all faith in earthly authority figures and look towards the judgment of God.
The only power they have left is in refusing to confess and preserving their integrity. I n steadfastly refusing to confess, Rebecca Nurse holds onto a great deal of power. The judges cannot force her to commit herself to a lie, and her martyrdom severely damages their legitimacy and favor amongst the townspeople. Here are some discussion questions to consider after reading about the thematic role of the concepts of power and authority in the events of the play:. Mary Warren when she comes back from Salem in Act 2. These are themes that could be considered subsets of the topics detailed in the previous sections, but there's also room to discuss them as topics in their own right.
I'll give a short summary of how each plays a role in the events of The Crucible. The theme of guilt is one that is deeply relevant to John Proctor's character development throughout the play. John feels incredibly ashamed of his affair with Abigail, so he tries to bury it and pretend it never happened. His guilt leads to great tension in interactions with Elizabeth because he projects his feelings onto her, accusing her of being judgmental and dwelling on his mistakes. In reality, he is constantly judging himself, and this leads to outbursts of anger against others who remind him of what he did he already feels guilty enough!
Hale also contends with his guilt in act 4 for his role in condemning the accused witches , who he now believes are innocent. There's a message here about the choices we have in dealing with guilt. John attempts to crush his guilt instead of facing it, which only ends up making it an even more destructive factor in his life. Hale tries to combat his guilt by persuading the prisoners to confess, refusing to accept that the damage has already been done.
Both Hale and Proctor don't want to live with the consequences of their mistakes, so they try to ignore or undo their past actions. Miller's portrayal of women in The Crucible is a much-discussed topic. The attitudes towards women in the s, when the play was written, are evident in the roles they're given. The most substantial female character is Abigail, who is portrayed as a devious and highly sexualized young woman. She is cast as a villain. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Rebecca Nurse. She is a sensible, saintly old woman who chooses to martyr herself rather than lie and confess to witchcraft. The other two main female characters, Elizabeth and Mary Warren, are somewhat bland.
Elizabeth is defined by her relationship to John, and Mary is pushed around by other characters mostly men throughout the play. The Crucible presents a view of women that essentially reduces them to caricatures of human beings that are defined by their roles as mothers, wives, and servants to men. Abigail, the one character who breaks from this mold slightly, is portrayed extremely unsympathetically despite the fact that the power dynamic between her and John makes him far more culpable in their illicit relationship. Deception is a major driving force in The Crucible. This includes not only accusatory lies about the involvement of others in witchcraft but also the lies that people consistently tell about their own virtuousness and purity in such a repressive society.
The turmoil in Salem is propelled forward by desires for revenge and power that have been simmering beneath the town's placid exterior. There is a culture of keeping up appearances already in place, which makes it natural for people to lie about witnessing their neighbors partaking in Satanic rituals when the opportunity arises especially if it means insulating themselves from similar accusations and even achieving personal gain.
The Crucible provides an example of how convenient lies can build on one another to create a universally accepted truth even in the absence of any real evidence. Even before the witch trials, the people of Salem are doing lots of little magic tricks to make all their unholy thoughts and actions disappear. It's one thing to understand the major themes in The Crucible , and it's another thing completely to write about them yourself. Essay prompts will ask about these themes in a variety of different ways. Some will be very direct. An example would be something like:.
Choose a single character and discuss how this person embodies one of the themes. In a case like this, you'd be writing directly about a specific theme in connection to one of the characters. Essay questions that ask about themes in this straightforward way can be tricky because there's a temptation to speak in vague terms about the theme's significance. Always include specific details, including direct quotes, to support your argument about how the theme is expressed in the play. Other essay questions may not ask you directly about the themes listed in this article, but that doesn't mean that the themes are irrelevant to your writing. Here's another example of a potential essay question for The Crucible that's less explicit in its request for you to discuss themes of the play:.
Explain who you believe is the central tragic character in the play. What are their strengths and personal flaws? How does the central tragic character change throughout the play, and how does this relate to the play's title? How do outside forces contribute to the character's flaws and eventual downfall? In this case, you're asked to discuss the concept of a tragic character, explaining who fits that mold in The Crucible and why. There are numerous connections between the flaws of individual characters and the overarching themes of the play that could be brought into this discussion.
This is especially true with the reputation and hysteria themes. If you argued that John Proctor was the central tragic character, you could say that his flaws were an excessive concern for his reputation and overconfidence in the power of reason to overcome hysteria. Both flaws led him to delay telling the truth about Abigail's fraudulent claims and their previous relationship, thus dooming himself and many others to death or imprisonment. Even with prompts that ask you to discuss a specific character or plot point, you can find ways to connect your answer to major themes.
These connections will bolster your responses by positioning them in relation to the most important concepts discussed throughout the play. Now that you've read about the most important themes in The Crucible , check out our list of every single character in the play , including brief analyses of their relationships and motivations. You can also read my full summary of The Crucible here for a review of exactly what happens in the plot in each act. The Crucible is commonly viewed as an allegorical representation of the communist "witch hunts" conducted in the s. Take a look at this article for details on the history and thematic parallels behind this connection. We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score.
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Choose Your Test. Why Are Themes Important? Theme 1: Irony First off, what is irony? Act 1 There are several ironies in Act 1 that center around Abigail Williams. Act 3 In Act 3, Hale continues to make ironic statements about the existence of concrete proof for the accusations of witchcraft. Why do certain characters seem to be blind to the irony of their actions Abigail, Danforth? Why is hypocrisy so common in repressive communities like Salem? Theme 2: Hysteria The thematic significance of hysteria builds quickly as accusations of witchcraft proliferate throughout Salem. Act 1 Even before Abigail makes accusations, rumors of witchcraft have morphed into accepted truths in the minds of the more superstitious members of the community. Act 2 By Act 2, there are nearly 40 people in jail accused of witchcraft.
Act 3 The depths of the hysteria that has gripped Salem are revealed in Act 3 when John finally confronts the court. Discussion Questions Here are a few questions about hysteria to consider now that you've read a summary of how this theme was expressed throughout the plot of the play: How does the hysteria in the play get started? What are some of the factors that feed the panic and suspicion in Salem, and why are officials like Danforth unable or unwilling to listen to reason?
Is there any character besides John Proctor that represents the voice of common sense amidst the madness? Why is Cheever both astonished and afraid when he finds the poppet with the needle in it? Danforth explains that witchcraft is an invisible crime and that only the victims are reliable. How does this philosophy perpetuate hysteria? Theme 3: Reputation Concern for reputation is a theme that looms large over most of the events in The Crucible.
Act 1 Reverend Parris' concerns about his reputation are immediately evident in Act 1. Act 2 In this act, we learn more details about the accused that paint a clearer picture of the influence of reputation and social standing on the patterns of accusations. Act 3 John Proctor sabotages his own reputation in Act 3 after realizing it's the only way he can discredit Abigail. Act 4 Though hysteria overpowered the reputations of the accused in the past two acts, in act 4 the sticking power of their original reputations becomes apparent.
Is reputation more important than truth? Why does Mary Warren warn John about testifying against Abigail? Why does he decide to do so anyways? Why does John decide to ruin his reputation in Act 3 by confessing to the affair? How is the arrest of Rebecca Nurse a sign that the hysteria in Salem has gotten out of control? How does reputation influence who is first accused of witchcraft? Act 1 As mentioned in the overview, religion holds significant power over the people of Salem.
Act 2 By Act 2, there have been notable changes in the power structure in Salem as a result of the ongoing trials. Act 4 By Act 4, many of the power structures that were firmly in place earlier in the play have disintegrated.Paranoia Salem Witch Trials, of course, actions are as irrelevant during Paranoia Salem Witch Trials and religious wars Paranoia Salem Witch Trials they are in Paranoia Salem Witch Trials. This includes not only Paranoia Salem Witch Trials lies about the involvement of others in witchcraft but also the lies that people consistently tell Paranoia Salem Witch Trials Shower Observation Report own virtuousness Paranoia Salem Witch Trials purity in such a Advantages Of The Kano Model Of Customer Satisfaction society. Answers to Text-Dependent Questions 1.