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"The Salem Witch Trials", Heavily Citing Examples From "The Crucible".

979 words - 4 pages

The Salem Witch Trials began in the winter of 1692, taking place in Salem Village, and didn't end until nearly a year afterwards. However, turmoil had been present long before any accusations of witchcraft arose. Much of the trouble is believed to have started with the hiring and preaching of Reverend Samuel Parris. Reverend Parris was hired to preach to a separatists group led by the Putnam family. The Putnam's and their small group of supporters were those in favor of separating Salem Village from Salem Town. These separatists felt Salem Town was no longer an asset to them, since its economy mainly thrived on profitable harbors, and Salem Town was a more agriculturally geared area. Those who supported the alliance between Salem Town and Salem Village soon began to voice their opposition to the hiring of Parris, because of his unusually high salary and several other perks such as free firewood, a new house, and ownership of the land around it. Reverend Parris continued to preach, despite the poor attendance of his services.Reverend Parris was a married man that lived with his nine year old daughter named Betty, his twelve year old niece named Abigail Williams, who was an orphan, and an African American slave named Tituba. Abigail is most commonly attributed with starting the mass hysteria that led to the witch-hunts and witch trials. It started when young Betty fell ill one day and refused to move or speak. Reverend Parris immediately confronted Abigail, who later admitted she and Betty had been practicing casting spells in the woods. Reverend Parris was outraged, and asked the girls who was responsible for teaching them witchcraft. The girls soon put the blame on Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osbourne, all of whom denied the charges at first.Reverend Parris had been aware for some time that Tituba practiced a religion that originated in Barbados, which only fed speculation that she had tried to curse the young girls into being servants of the Devil. Sarah Good on the other hand was an outcast that frequently roamed the village late at night, chanting to herself. People began to suspect those chants were spells being cast upon those who treated her cruelly. The last of the three accused women was Sarah Osbourne, an elderly woman who kept to herself and rarely attended church services. This was a sin by Puritan standards, and Reverend Parris was quick to condemn them all as witches. But it was not the Reverends place to decide who was lying, and who was telling the truth.Salem Village put the three women on trial, and relentlessly questioned them. During the trial, Abigail, Betty, and a group of six other girls would often burst out screaming in the courtroom, claiming they were being tortured by the accused. This outlandish behavior only increased animosity towards the accused women. Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne maintained their innocence, but Tituba ended up...

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