Salem, Massachusetts, And The Puritan Society Essay

1778 Words Nov 6th, 2015 8 Pages
Salem, Massachusetts, was a town in colonial America founded by the Puritans from England. The Puritans had strict laws and ideals based on their religious beliefs. These included the prohibition of dancing, the following of all of God’s laws and commandments, and the strict behavioral expectations of women and children. In early 1692, young women and girls, repressed by their society, started accusing the adults, mostly women, of witchcraft, punishable by hanging in the Puritan courts. A person accused of witchcraft had supposedly signed their name to the Devil and rejected God and the Puritan society. Generally, those who confessed to witchcraft went free, but the judges convicted and put to death those who denied wrongdoing. By the end of the accusations and executions in September 1692, the courts had executed twenty men and women and five people had died in jail. The girls who started the accusations were cousins Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams. Ten-year-old Betty Parris was the daughter of Reverend Parris, the minister of Salem Village. She is the first to become “afflicted” by witchcraft. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, based on the events of the Salem witch trials, seventeen-year-old Abigail has an affair with John Proctor, one of the town’s more prominent men. His lust for Abigail and her subsequent jealousy of his wife ultimately lead to the events of The Crucible. The Puritan society oppressed the girls that led the accusations. Unmarried girls were…

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