Hysteria In The Crucible Analysis

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Hysteria in The Crucible

Hysteria is a prominent theme In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. Hysteria is the underlying cause for everything that happens in the play; it is what moves the story along and urges the reader to think critically about the character’s actions and choices or rather their lack of critical thinking and choice. While there are many factors that potentially contributed to the hysteria in Salem, what is depicted in The Crucible is something man-made and perpetuated through the choices and actions of specific characters. The Crucible makes the point that hysteria and mob behavior is contagious, and uses witchery as a means of conveying this message.

The Crucible demonstrates that when one person acts hysterical, others
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Girls: Stop it!
Mary Warren, screaming it out at the top of her lungs, and raising her fists: Stop it!!” (page 109)The hysterics the afflicted girls were causing seemed to be almost contagious in the play. The girls’ antics seemed to cause people to act hysterically; their hysteria, working as a chain reaction, made others act hysterical. However, there could have been other factors contributing to the rapid spread of hysteria in Salem, but the root of the hysterics was the actions of a few sane girls.

The hysteria in Salem surrounding witchcraft could have been due to the influence of a hallucinogenic mold or class tensions. There are reasons to believe that there was a mold growing on the wheat grown in Salem that made all its consumers hallucinate. This theory lends itself to the contagious hysteria because many residents of Salem were used to seeing far-fetched hallucinations, and the specific accusations may have also influenced the phantoms seen by the consumers of the mold. There has also been evidence to suggest that the people accusing others of witchcraft were the people most likely would have eaten the mold. To add to this theory, the people who would have been affected by the psychogenic mold were farmers living on the outskirts of Salem, and would have also felt a great disdain towards merchants and the people living in Salem; the people living in Salem were the ones being accused of
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This is how the afflicted girls, particularly Abigail, knew who to accuse. The girls were able to abuse the class tensions and possible mold influence to give themselves a voice and cause mass chaos.

The hysteria in Salem may have also, in part, derived from fear and the fear driven society. In The Crucible, religion is a very prominent theme and plot point used to move the story along. The book depicts strict religion and specific beliefs prominent in Salem at this historical time. In particular the text shows how anything unknown or unaccepted could easily cause hysterics. Arthur Miller was also keen on showing how in the Puritan society, one 's first instinct was to blame the unexplainable on the devil, a tendency derived from fear.
“Danforth, horrified: Mary Warren! Draw back your spirit out of them!
Mary Warren: Mr.

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