The Role Of Hysteria In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1357 Words 6 Pages
Hysteria is without a doubt the main mental issue attributing to females, precisely portrayed in the second thousand years BC, and until it was viewed as an only female disease. More than 4000 years of history, this sickness was considered from two points of view: logical and demonological. Currently, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines mass hysteria as “a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychogenic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions.” Meaning, a disorder characterized by violent mental episodes, the unsettling of sensory and motor functions, and many other abnormal effects. In instances of mass hysteria, the group's apprehensions frequently overwhelm rationale and individual idea, which prompt …show more content…
Individuals who are hopeless in both The Crucible and Le Roy contribute to the hysteria. Mrs. Putnam, a believer in the Devil and his work screamed, “The psalm! The psalm! She cannot bear to hear the Lord’s name!” (Miller 24). She believed that Betty was taken by the Devil and that they couldn’t save her because they couldn’t even say God’s name in front of her. Mrs. Putnam’s reaction adds to the sense of hysteria throughout the town as more girls begin to contrive the epidemic. Similarly, in Le Roy during a town meeting, a stressed woman reflected, “You guys need to prove to us it is safe for my daughter to be in this school” (Dominus 6). The woman clearly feels hopeless, as she cannot do anything to find a solution to the epidemic. Similarly, Mrs. Putnam felt the same way when talking about how the Devil resides in the girls. Individuals who are vulnerable in both The Crucible and Le Roy contribute to the hysteria. When put in a tough spot, Mary Warren felt vulnerable. She decided to save herself by shouting, “You’re the Devil’s man!” (Miller 118). Mary decided to betray John and turn to Abigail, increasing the hysteria as it began to spread further. Likewise, in Le Roy, Dominus found a common thread regarding the girls suffering from the hysterical epidemic: “None [of the girls] had stable relationships with their biological fathers” (Dominus 14). Having only one biological guardian can be rough when most have two. Therefore, it makes the girls more vulnerable to contracting the hysterical epidemic. The girls in The Crucible also feel vulnerable, which is why they all chose to hide behind Abigail for safety. Clearly, in both The Crucible and Le Roy, there were those who were hopeless and

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