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The Crucible: Assumptions, Mob Mentality, Fear, And Blame

983 words - 4 pages

A crucible is defined as a container made with metal or refectory material used for heating substances to a high temperature, but it can also be defined as a severe test or trial. So, how do witch hunts relate to both definitions? Back in 1641 England made witch craft a capital crime, so in 1692 when Abigail Williams claimed that she had seen women in her village working alongside the devil you can only imagine the hysteria and problems that came along with the false accusations and the beliefs of the puritan lifestyle. So this brings us to the point of how lifestyle and the social norms form witch hunts. It seems to be human nature to fear what we do not know and with fear comes hysteria which leads to mob mentality that causes mass amounts of people to put blame on those who they have known for a long time. This blame ruins the lives of many people, and people in modern society, even though many have learned about the Salem Witch Hunt, do not think that we have modern day witch hunts and that brings us to assumptions.
Assumptions about not having witch hunts and assumptions about mob mentality not being as strong as it was before. But, there are many examples of modern day witch hunts that can be compared to not only timelines of the Salem Witch Hunt of Massachusetts but to the Crucible written by Arthur Miller as a way to inform and captivate the reader of the massacre of the Salem Witch Trials. In the Crucible mob mentality is used in a way to have combined testimony against those accused. “’I saw Goody Hawkins with the devil’-Abigail ‘I saw Goody Bibber with the devil!’-Betty” (p. 1049). These accusations go on to blame 19 people in which 16 of those people died because of the mob mentality that went around the village that made false accusations come to light and had many people killed. The mob mentality made the people of Salem got caught up in the moment and actually believed these people were working with the devil. When comparing the Salem witch hunt to modern day witch hunts you find that mob mentality is present in many of them. Such as the Red Scare, in the 1940’s and the early 1950’s people were being accused of being communist or being affiliated with being a communist. In the Red Scare people who were associated with the communist’s, whether they are or not they actually were communists, were called reds for the Soviet Union’s flag. This mass accusation was also caused by mass hysteria and fear of the unknown.
During the Salem witch trials one of the main causes for the many deaths and people whose lives were ruined because of the accusations and fear. Abigail had started out with trying to cover herself for when her uncle Parris found both her and his daughter Beth and many...

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