This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Genderising The Salem Witchhunt (Feminist Piece) Paul Boyer And Stephen Nissenbaum's Salem Possessed And The Devil In The Shape Of A Woman By Carol Karlsen

1039 words - 4 pages

This paper will discuss and contrast the works of both Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum's Salem Possessed and The Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen. These papers contrast in their reasoning behind the Salem trials and the subsequent timing of it in 1692. It must be clear that whilst Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum's discuss a whole series of mitigating factors that leads to the trials in Salem the authors do not pay homage to the struggle of feminism in the Puritan society of Salem nor the impact of such a struggle on the timing and result of the Salem trials in 1692."The story of witchcraft is primarily the story of women "Karlsen's "The devil in the shape of a woman" attempts to lay emphasis on the trials as one that highlights the wider role of gender inequality and the feminine power struggle that results in the trials at Salem. Karlsen specifically tackles the role of gender bias in Salem as a major theme in the timing and mind-set of the Salem trial. For instance Karlsen brings female sexuality to the fore of her argument and its increasing weight moving towards the end of the 18th Century."Poor white women were viewed as embodying many characteristics of the witch: they were increasingly portrayed as seductive sexually uncontrolled and threatening to the social and moral order "For Karlsen, the witch trials were a violent struggle within women as well as an equally ambivalent but violent struggle against women. For Karlsen it culminates in the Salem Trials of 1692 but its origins lay in the history of Salem and its culture. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum suggest that it is part of a much broader economic and social picture . This macro analysis of the problem denies the specific elements that led to the trials within Salem.Puritan Ideology is a factor in the timing and reasoning behind the trials. Such religious ideology expressed the hierarchical system and subsequently the conscious degradation of a woman's role in society. Previous to the trials, discussions such as a woman's ability to speak in town meetings, church and to participate in hymns as not to offend the ear of God were of serious consideration in the 1660's and 70's . It is apparent that such inequality was endemic to preceding the Salem Trials in 1692.Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum's Salem Possessed examines social and economic divisions within the Salem Village and Town from a historical context, as an entry point to understanding the accusations of witchcraft in 1692. Boyer and Nissenbaum argue that it is political factionalism and an ever-changing economy (an agricultural and mercantilist divide) as a steady process that aided the conditions for the trials of Salem via the examination of the time period of 1639-87 . Nissenbaum's examination of local records reveals the shape of communal life in New England and provides a more complex model through which to understand the witchcraft accusations as part of a larger pattern of communal strife . This...

Find Another Essay On Genderising the Salem Witchhunt (Feminist Piece) - Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum's Salem Possessed and The Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen

"The Crucible" by Miller, and salem witch trials of 1692

2167 words - 9 pages family was accused, the family would become vulnerable to destructionwhile its wealth and position would plummet possibly allowing the accusers anopportunity to reap what they never could have possibly have sown.. The accusers werealmost all the poorest of the Puritans in Salem Village. They were also the most angryand resentful especially of the rich.The Massachusetts Bay Colony was rapidly changing into a severely dividedcommunity by 1692. The

The Visible and Invisible Worlds of Salem

676 words - 3 pages crazy person if you were at all different, and this episode would be so different that it would be traumatic to the people of this small village. Traumatic as it was, I believe the people just did not know how to react in such a situation. The bewitchment at Salem Village started in the winter of 1691-1692, where three bored little girls was curiously searching for their future husbands by taking the white of an egg and putting it into a glass of

The Crucible and The Salem Witch Trials by Arthur Miller

1074 words - 5 pages , Americans faced poverty, and had no income because jobs weren’t available. Throughout his life Miller influenced many people with his plays, and his contributions to this day because people want to read and understand what was truly happening in past history. For example, “The Crucible” is a play about the Salem Witch Trials, giving a good understanding of the basics that went on in this time period. Another example of Miller’s influential work is “The

A Summary of the Salem Witch Trials

1269 words - 6 pages be incalculable…It had been a wise and human provision designed to keep the faithful in control even when, as had long ago become the case, they were heavily outnumbered by lesser men without the Covenant (Marion, 1969). Bibliography Blumberg, J. (2007, October 24). A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials. Smithsonian Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-the-salem-witch-trials-175162489/?page=2&no-ist

The Salem Witch Trials-Report on the Salem Witch Trials describes events, people, theories, insight into the Puritan religion, and results of the trials. A bibliography is included

2560 words - 10 pages , New York, 1690. Page 1452.3.Karlsen, Carol F., The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, Penguin, Markham; 1987. Page 2-3.3.Karlsen, Carol F., The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, Penguin, Markham; 1987. Page 1.4.Sutter, Tim, Salem Witchcraft: The Events and Causes of the Salem Witch Trials, 2000.5.Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, Facts on File, New

Witchcraft in the Small Village of Salem

1551 words - 6 pages girls were Betty Paris and Abigail Williams, her cousin (Dolan 4). Betty was nine years old, and Abigail was eleven (Dolan 4). Both girls lived with Reverend Samuel Parris, Betty’s father, the village minister (Dolan 4). The people of Salem believed in witches and their witchcraft. A witch is a woman who professes or practices the use of magic. A witch was believed by witchcraft experts to leave his or her body at night and travel freely (Kent 26

Factors and Influence of the Salem Witch Trials

2589 words - 10 pages claimed to be possessed by the devil and they accused several local women of witchcraft. A wave of hysteria spread throughout Massachusetts, and a special court place was set up to hear the cases. During the Salem witch trials “nineteen were hung on Gallows Hill, a 71-year-old man was pressed to death with heavy stones, several people died in jail and nearly 200 people, overall, had been accused”(Wigfall, Lyric).The first condemned witch, Bridget

The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism

590 words - 2 pages Ogarek Period 5"The whole past is the procession of the present." - Thomas CarlyleThis statement coincides with the idea that history repeats itself. A perfect example of this is the similarities between the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism. The Salem Witch Trials were portrayed in the novel, The Crucible. Arthur Miller wrote this novel during the McCarthy era. Arthur Miller was put on trial for communism in the same fashion of many during the

The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism

758 words - 4 pages . However, the suspicions during the times of the Salem witch trials and red scare, promptly formed into accusations. Once suspected, being accused of witchcraft, or communist activity was nearly inevitable. Similar to the suspicions, the accusations made by people in the town of Salem, or by Joseph McCarthy and the House of Un-American Activities, seldom contained any proof or reliable evidence to fully support such a claim. For example, in

The Salem Witch Trials, Hysteria and Religion

842 words - 3 pages Salem Massachusetts became the center of a horrible tragedy, which changed the life of many people. It was a hard time, because of the bad crops and diseases. The people in Salem had to blame someone or something. This people accused innocent people by calling them witches. They were accused by having contact with the devil, hurting people, to pinch people on their bodies and more. These actions were result of hysteria. Maybe those extraneous

Comparing The Crucible and Salem Witch Trials

1781 words - 7 pages The purpose of my paper is to compare and contrast Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the actual witch trials that took place in Salem in the 17th Century. Although many of the characters and events in the play were non-fictional, many details were changed by the playwright to add intrigue to the story. While there isn’t one specific cause or event that led to the Salem witch trials, it was a combination of events and factors that contributed

Similar Essays

Comparing Salem Possessed By Paul Boyer, The Story Of The Salem Witch Trials By Bryan Le Beau, And Devil In The Shape Of A Woman By Carol Karlsen

1878 words - 8 pages Comparing "Salem Possessed" by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, "The Story of the Salem Witch Trials" by Bryan Le Beau, and "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman" by Carol Karlsen The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 spread just about as fast as the Black Plague. This epidemic caused chaos among neighbors in a community. The chronology of events describes an awful time for colonists from June 10th to September 22nd of that year. The books "Salem

The Devil In The Shape Of A Woman By Carol Karlsen

857 words - 3 pages The Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen Carol Karlsen was born in 1940. She is currently a professor in the history department a the University of Michigan. A graduate of Yale University (Ph.D, 1980), she has taught history and women’s study courses at Union College and Bard College. In this book Carol Karlsen reveals the social construction of witchcraft in 17th century New England, and brings forth the portrait of gender in

The Devil In The Shape Of A Woman

732 words - 3 pages The Devil in the Shape of a Woman “The Devil in the Shape of a Woman” was an excellent book that focuses on the unjusts that have been done to women in the name of witchcraft in Salem, and many other areas as well. It goes over statistical data surrounding gender, property inherence, and the perceptions of women in colonial New England. Unlike the other studies of colonial witchcraft, this book examines it as a whole, other then the usual

The Devil In The Shape Of A Woman. Speaks Of Examples Of Women In America Being Executed As Witches

1833 words - 7 pages characteristics of the witch. To be a real woman was to use their influence to protect domestication. Acceptance of this thinking assured the white women of the middle and upper classes that they were not evil.Overall, witchcraft effecting mainly women in America was portrayed rather effectively in The Devil in the Shape of a Woman in many ways. First, I was impressed by the many statistical elements that Carol F. Karlsen acquired and added to her