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Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Hysteria is born . . . . The Big Ps and the little ps. Pilgrims. Puritans. A pilgrim by definition though not THE Pilgrims Arabella, 1630, Massachusetts Bay Colony Critical of the Church of England wanted to reform church from within; purify the church

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salem witch trials of 1692

Salem Witch Trialsof 1692

Hysteria is born . . .

the big ps and the little ps
The Big Ps and the little ps

Pilgrims

Puritans

A pilgrim by definition though not THE Pilgrims

Arabella, 1630, Massachusetts Bay Colony

Critical of the Church of England

wanted to reform church from within; purify the church

Intended to create a model community guided in all aspects by the Bible

Puritans did not accept other faiths: Anglican (more progressive group), Quakers etc.

By law, anyone living in Massachusetts Bay Colony HAD to attend Puritan church

  • Pilgrim: a traveler – one who has come from afar – to a religious or holy land
  • Known as the Separatists
  • Mayflower, 1620, Plymouth Rock
  • Desire their own religious land – want to recreate God’s land on earth
  • Pilgrims separate from Church of England and form their own church; religious dissenters also known as Separatists
  • Believed that church and worship could take place without all of the traditions and trappings of the traditional Church of England
government in massachusetts
Government in Massachusetts
  • Operated under a theocracy: a state under immediate guidance from God
    • Believed that secular governors were accountable to God to protect and reward virtue, and to punish wrongdoers.
    • Argued the only head of the Church in heaven or on Earth was Christ.
    • ONLY under a theocracy could the Salem trials have occurred. WHY?
puritan beliefs
Puritan Beliefs
  • Believed, to an extent, in personal Biblical

interpretation.

  • Moral purity: the ultimate goal (pursued constantly) to the extent
  • Minimized decorations and celebrations, and emphasized preaching
  • Believed man existed for the glory of God; primary concern in life should be to do God’s will so they could receive future happiness (salvation)
  • Predestination – God has already determined who will achieve salvation and who will not
    • Not known to mere man, so all must act to hopefully achieve salvation
  • Believed strongly in demonic forces; exorcisms were prominent and taken seriously
    • Helped lead to the spread and acceptance in charging witchcraft
puritan ideals
Puritan Ideals
  • Culture stressed self-examination and a strict accounting for one’s feelings and deeds. One may inflict physical harm upon oneself as a form of punishment for one’s sins Eg. Reverend Dimsdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
  • Men and women had different roles in society, based upon Biblical teachings
    • Women – Eve’s corruption extended to all women – women were marginalized in the church’s structure because they were viewed as untrustworthy and weak.
      • Women not permitted to speak in church, but could engage in religious-based discussions outside of church
      • Full church membership dictated that members must lead Godly lives and demonstrate a clear understanding of the foundations of their Christian faith, but must also demonstrate that they had personally experienced true evidence of the working of God’s grace on their souls.
        • Individuals that did not live according to the Biblical principles could find themselves excommunicated (suspended or deprived from membership) from the church
the puritan way
The Puritan Way
  • Family structure was Biblically based
    • Husband over wife
    • Parents over children
    • Masters over servants
  • Parents showed they “loved” their children by properly disciplining them
    • This task often fell to the wife, and her own morality and standing with the church relied on how well her children behaved
    • The Puritans who settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony were some of the most radical
        • strict views on sexual morality
        • disapproved of recreation
        • wished to spread views and ideals to others
      • Disapproved of Christmas celebrations – not celebrated in the Boston region until the 19th century
puritan literature
Puritan Literature
  • Dominated by religion: theological studies, hymns, histories, biographies, autobiographies
  • Purpose was to provide spiritual insight and instruction
  • Regarded fiction and drama as sinful
  • Used poetry as a vehicle of spiritual enlightenment – a religiously-based purpose
  • Believed in a plain style of writing that had a clear message
  • Heavy hitters: Edward Taylor, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather (Father and Son ministers who wrote many letters and books concerning the Salem trials)

Cotton Mather

Anne Bradstreet

dear diary
Dear Diary…

Puritans wrote diaries in which they would often find spiritual meaning in what might be considered simple coincidences. 

Examples:

The poor health of a human's  body may be compared to bits of broken glass.

A snake found under a person’s porch may be seen as the presence of evil.  This could be a warning from God or a visit from the devil.

A woman accidentally burning a shirt may represent the fact that God was preparing her for the future death of her husband.

the puritans plain style
The Puritans Plain Style
  • Reflected style of their lives – spare, simple, straightforward
  • Characterized by short words, direct statements, and references to ordinary, everyday objects
    • All could understand, and thus reflect on their lives and actions and relate to religion
  • Only expressed useful or religious ideas
  • Did not appeal to senses or emotions
    • Personal emotions would detract attention and focus being on living a frugal, straightforward, and pious life
characterize the puritans

Characterize the Puritans

beliefs

style

potential threats to their way of life

what did it mean to be a puritan child
What did it mean to be a Puritan child?
  • In 1692, children were expected to behave under the same strict code as the adults—doing chores, attending church services, and repressing individual differences.
  • Any show of emotion, such as excitement, fear, or anger, was discouraged, and disobedience was severely punished.
  • Children rarely played, as toys and games were scarce. Puritans saw these activities as sinful distractions.
  • Perhaps it is no surprise that it was a group of young girls who first made the accusations of witchcraft in Salem Village . . .
the salem witch trials
The Salem Witch Trials

February 1692 – May 1693

Salem was a Puritan town

Strong belief that the devil was alive and trying to ‘steal’ souls from God

The ideas of ‘white’ and ‘dark’ magic became accepted and associated with demons and evil spirits

Magic implies that a logical explanation would not exist – that it was not needed to be believed or understood

Occurred in 3 different counties/towns

Most notably in Salem (now Danvers)

150+ were accused and tried

20 people, including a dog, were executed

myths and misconceptions
Myths and Misconceptions
  • People were accused of being witches long before Salem existed.
  • Those that were targeted were usually misfits in society.
  • As we read the play, note the type of “victim” of the trials…most of them are similar.
  • The “witches” of Salem were innocent people that were “made into suitable scapegoats”. Many people who testified against the accused later admitted he/she lied.
  • Let’s examine some of the myths and misconceptions . . .
    • (Handout from Hunting for Witches, by Frances Hill)
knowledge enrichment
Knowledge Enrichment

Spectral Evidence

Hard Evidence

Evidence that IS tangible.

All that were accused and convicted, were found guilty based upon spectral evidence.

  • Evidence that cannot be seen- not tangible (invisible)
  • Testimony by the afflicted girls that they saw witches’ specters doing harm to them or to others.
  • Specters- the spirit of a living person that is controlled by its owner and possesses physical powers. Specters may take the form of a creature, which is often referred to as a familiar. What are some examples you can think of?
  • In 1702, a bill was passed that no longer permitted the use of spectral evidence in any court case.
before we begin
Before we begin . . .
  • The European world saw the New World as a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of religious fanatics. In fact, the New World inhabitants viewed the unsettled frontier as mysterious and threatening. WHY?
  • However, these “fanatics” provided Europe, those who criticized them, with valuable products.
  • Puritans did not tolerate celebrations that they deemed sinful or could lead to sinfulness, yet they were known for gathering in fellowship after “raising the barn.”
  • Though self-examination was a way of life, patrols were appointed to monitor behavior and church attendance. A record was kept, especially for those that did not adhere to the moral expectation.
    • The fact that deeds did not go unnoticed, is one of the factors that fed the witchcraft frenzy. When people have their noses in other people’s business, gossip prevails.
irony and injustice
Irony and Injustice
  • The Puritans, though they had experienced persecution in England, were now persecuting those that did not believe and practice their religion.
  • They believed that they had “the candle that lit the world.”
  • The outside sources became less of a threat than those within the Puritan community due to the lack of balance between order and freedom.
  • The witch hunt became an opportunity for individuals to publically express their guilt and sins under the guise of accusing others.
  • Long held hatred of neighbors could be expressed=VENGENCE.
characters
Characters

ACT I

  • Reverend Samuel Parris- mid forties; widower; no interest in children; minister in Salem Village (former merchant)
  • Tituba- negro slave from Barbados
  • Betty- Parris’s daughter; young adolescent
  • Abigail- Parris’s niece; 17; orphaned
  • Thomas and Ann Putnam- well-to-do land owner
    • Mercy Lewis- teenage servant in the Putnam household
  • John and Elizabeth Proctor- mid thirties; farmer
    • Mary Warren- teenage servant in Proctor’s household
characters1
Characters

ACT I

  • Rebecca Nurse- elderly pious woman
  • Giles Corey- elderly cantankerous farmer
  • Reverend John Hale- minister in neighboring town of Beverly
characters2
Characters

ACT II

  • Elizabeth Proctor- wife of John Proctor
  • Ezekiel Cheever- clerk of the court (patrolman)
  • Marshal Herrick- sheriff

ACT III

  • Martha Corey- wife of Giles Corey
  • Judge Hathorne- head judge in Salem
  • Judge Danforth- representative of Boston governor
  • Francis Nurse- elderly Salemite
reading of a play dramatic elements
Reading of a play: Dramatic elements

DRAMA

  • 4th Wall- imaginary wall at the front of the stage through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play.

STAGE DIRECTIONS

  • The italicized text within parenthesis is equally as important as the dialogue between characters. It will often reveal a character’s emotional state and is sometimes an indication to how the text should be read. Informational passages are also italicized for better understanding of the characters and the historical placement.
    • Eg. Rev. Hale (narrowing his eyes) Tries to fly
    • Eg. Rev. Parris (with trepidation – and resentment) I hope you do not mean we go to Satan

here!

LANGUAGE

  • Aye: pronounced “I” (said to express assent; yes)

i.e. John Proctor: “Aye, the farm is seeded.

  • Goody: abbreviation for Goodwife, which is a polite form of address for a woman, formerly used where "Mrs.", "Miss" and "Ms." would be used today. Its male counterpart is Goodman.

i.e. Elizabeth Proctor= Goody Proctor

  • Yoda Speak: Subject of the sentence comes after the verb.

i.e. Judge Danforth to John Proctor: What say you, mister?

PUNCTUATION

  • The use of a hyphen at the end of a text indicates an interruption
    • Eg. Thomas Putnam: No witchcraft! Now look you, Mr. Parris—

Rev. Parris: Thomas, Thomas, I pray you not leap to witchcraft.

agree disagree
Agree/Disagree

Read each of the following statements carefully and determine whether you agree or disagree. On a sheet of paper, write out the statements and then beside each number, write an A or a D. I will not address any questions pertaining to the statements. You will use this paper for the next few weeks so DO NOT LOSE IT.

1. A person is innocent until proven guilty.

2. Children are meant to be seen and not heard.

3. It is okay to lie to avoid consequences.

4. Fear causes irrational behavior.

5. Once you lose your reputation, you can never get it back.

expanding your thoughts
Expanding your thoughts . . .
  • Now, select one of the statements and write a one page response on why you agree or disagree. You may use the same sheet of paper.
  • I will be assessing several components of your writing so do your best in structuring your argument. (Consider all the elements that I may be looking for as your English teacher.)
writing expectations working slide
Writing Expectations (working slide)
  • Effective lead-in
  • Thesis
  • Structure (paragraphs)
  • Supporting Evidence
  • Citations
  • Transitional phrases
  • Voice/Style
  • Language
allegory
Allegory

What is an allegory?

An allegory is a narrative in which literal meaning corresponds clearly and directly to symbolic meaning.

communism
Communism

An ideology that seeks to establish a future classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownership of the means of production and the absence of private property.

the salem witch trials and communism
The Salem Witch Trials and Communism

No, the witches weren’t communists, but the mass hysteria that came from the Witch Trials corresponds directly to the mass hysteria that met the United States when it was thought that Communism was “infiltrating” the country during the 1950s.

communism and russia
Communism and Russia

Russia:

  • US allied with Russia in WW2
  • 1949: detonate atomic bomb – did they steal it from US?
    • Assumed that only the USA could possibly be bright enough to develop such powerful technology
    • Perceived as a threat and a liability
  • Their way of life was a perceived threat to the American (our) way of life
    • Had dangerous technology that the US government only felt comfortable with the US having
  • No one really understood what Communism was or what was going on in Russia  mass hysteria as people start pointing fingers and blaming one another for “communist activity”
senator joseph mccarthy
Senator Joseph McCarthy
  • Republican Senator wanting to make a name for himself and get reelected
  • Delivers the Wheeling speech, which throws him into the national spotlight
    • Claims that he knows who the Communists are and vows to get rid of them.
  • People go crazy pointing fingers and claiming that their neighbors, celebrities, and anyone who is a“threat” to the American way of life is a Communist
    • The ultimate insult
    • Taken very seriously
    • Communism came to equal Russians
      • believed that Russians ate their babies
      • Willing to believe anything negative out of fear

and lack of understanding

      • Us vs. Them mentality
communism ensues
Communism Ensues
  • Though it was eventually discovered that McCarthy’s accusations were untrue, the resulting hysteria is now known as one of the most repressive times in American history.

2. The HUAC (House Committee on UN- American Activities) summoned 2,375 men and women, which was enough to cost them their jobs. 400 Americans went to jail – not having a fair trial.

the crucible
The Crucible
  • Abigail Williams – watch her, her actions, and her motivation
    • who’s actions do they match up with within in the allegorical reading of the play?
  • The people of Salem
    • they will become like the people of the US during McCarthyism. They start pointing fingers and going crazy with the thought that witches/communists are in their midst
in pursuit of communism
In Pursuit of Communism
  • Those called into question were supposed to prove their loyalty to the U.S. by naming former Communists they had known. If they didn’t they could face a jail sentence and be ‘blacklisted’ so they couldn’t get a job.
  • In all, 9,500 civil servants were dismissed and 15,000 resigned; 600 teachers lost their jobs and many fine actors and scriptwriters were unable to work again.
    • Charlie Chaplin, the biggest Hollywood movie star of the pre-war years (and also a Communist) left America in disgust.  
the pillars of communism
The Pillars of Communism
  • Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  • A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  • Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  • Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  • Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  • Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  • Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing of cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  • Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  • Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
  • Free education for all children in the form of public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in all its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc, etc.
miller and mccarthy
Miller and McCarthy
  • The paranoid hunt for infiltrators was notoriously difficult on writers and entertainers, many of whom were labeled communist sympathizers and were unable to continue working.
    • Entertainers and those in the industry were seen as dangerous because they were perceived as being liberal
    • Had massive influence over the public (celebrities always in the spotlight)
  • Some had their passports taken away, while others were jailed for refusing to give the names of other communists.
    • If they didn’t know names, they were still expected to give them – lead to a problem of naming names for the sake of protecting oneself rather than being honorable
  • The trials, which were well publicized, could often destroy a career with a single unsubstantiated accusation. If a name was even mentioned, it was common that that person would never work again
  • In all, three hundred twenty artists were blacklisted, and for many of them this meant the end of exceptional and promising careers. This includes Arthur Miller, Leonard Berstein, and Charlie Chaplin.
questions to consider
Questions to Consider
  • How are the events of the Salem Witch Trials similar to those during McCarthyism?
  • In what other historical or social events have you seen the effects of hysteria?
  • Why would Miller have chosen to use the setting of 1692 Salem instead of 1950s Anytown?
  • How are the societal values of the 1950s similar to those of 1692? Different? How do they compare to the values of today’s society?
  • How does culture influence people’s reactions to turmoil?