26 April 2011
ENC1101 5:00-6:15 MW
Salem Witch Trials
The year 1692 was by far one of the most tragic years in American history, also hysteria. Throughout the year, a massive number of individuals either were deceased or came to a near-death experience. In the town of Salem, Massachusetts, there lived a village full of Puritan individuals. “Puritans are the supremacy of divine will” (Karlsen). By Karlsen’s statement, he affirms that they are a God-centered society, speaking in theocracy. Puritans believed in predestination. They alleged that whom-ever was saved or died was God’s choice; it was after all, a master plan. For the reason of subjugation ...view middle of the document...
This states that the majority of individuals treat witchcraft as being hazardous in a figure that formulate a set of doctrines that form the basis, of a political, economic, or other systems. Conferring the Witchcraft and Social Identity’s statement, witchcraft has been said to be the explanation of human misfortune by blaming it either on supernatural being or a known person involved in the practice around the community.
The break out of witchcraft in Salem began in the winter of 1691 when a group of girls in the village, lead by Tituba, a West Indian slave, experimented with telling their fortunes by utilizing a crystal ball. During more unauthorized fortune telling, a group of girls from the village became extremely ill. Betty Parris, one of the girls, reacted strange to the illness. She scurried about, dove under furniture, twisted in pain, and whined of a fever. There were two reasons behind the illness of the girls. Either they caught a common disease that was scattering around Salem caused by rye, ergot, or nevertheless, witchcraft! The town council started to be concerned about the health of the youth in the village. Town council leader, Samuel Parris, consulted the town doctor, William Griggs, which examined Betty Parris first, then moved on to the others. After examining each and every girl that was ill, Griggs did not find any symptoms of a rye-disease. The investigation furthered, when Parris advised a Demon specialist by the name of John Hale. When Hale scrutinized Betty for any demonic possession, he found no evidence. The question remained unanswered about the girls’ illness.
Throughout the months, the girls of the Salem village especially Betty Parris, got well. Comes to find out, they just had a common cold, but Betty’s case remains unknown. The girls, becoming knowledgeable on the situation of where they stand, they decided to form an alliance, where they would perform gestures on being possessed. The following girls turned into a gang or juvenile delinquents: Betty Parris, Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott, and Betty’s cousin, Abigail Williams.
Suspicions of witchcraft in Salem citizens grew rapidly. Mary Sibley, a neighbor of the alleged juvenile delinquents, developed a sort of counter magic towards the sickness of the girls. “Sometime between February 25 and February 29, Tituba, the Indian slave from Barbados, baked a rye caked with the urine of the afflicted victim and fed the cake to a dog” (Linder). Dogs were fed the cake because they were believed to be used by witches as agents to transmit out their cunning orders. “By this time, suspicion had already begun to focus on Tituba, who had been known to tell the girls tales of omens, voodoo, and witchcraft from her native folklore” (Linder). As a result of Tituba’s participation, baking the urine cake made Tituba an easier target for the practice of witchcraft. When Tituba became imprisoned, the main leaders of the delinquents, Abigail Williams and Betty Parris...