Damned Women Analysis

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In the book, Damned Women: Witches and Sinners in Puritan New England, Elizabeth Reis examines the relationship among women, evil, and Puritanism in the seventeenth century New England. Reis not only explains why women were more likely viewed as witches or followers of the Devil but she also explains how men would sin in Puritan New England. In her book, she discusses why even puritans themselves, came to think that they forged a pact with the devil. Elizabeth begins stating that she believed Women in Puritan New England along with the culture regarded women to be damned more likely than men. Puritans believed in predestination; salvation and damnation were foreordained by god, not in hell or heaven even though god would choose, women and men still could not wait for judgement day. They wanted clues about their destiny but it ended in either hope or fear. The fear was due to the constant cycle of anxiety and need of assurance all of which lead to the dreading of the devil. The Puritans themselves never admitted to believing that women were more sinful than men. In fact, they said that …show more content…
The clergy believed that Satan would torture the body to capture the feminine entity. If a woman were accused of being a witch, they were damned if they did confess and damned even if they didn’t. Agreeing meant they would prove the case they were being blamed for. On the other hand, if they denied, their refusal to sin prove them as sinners and allies of evil. Witchcraft in Puritan New England meant that the person made a devil’s pact in blood and would afflict others. For Reis, she believed that some women most likely believed they did sign a pact with the devil when they confessed. Others may have only said they did to save their own lives, meanwhile others were probably only confessing to ordinary sin; meaning they were only committing to the devil

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