The girls stories Essay
The girls stories
What is there about Miller’s presentation of the society of Salem which allows the girls stories to be believed? In the 16th century, the lives of most people were centered around God. Many of the laws of the time were based from the Bible, the Ten Commandments in particular. It was believed at the time that there were supernatural forces at work to cause one to stray from God’s path. Ministers and clergymen thought it their duty to purge the Earth of these beings when they presented themselves.
During the 1600s, due to most people’s strong belief in God there was consequently a strong belief in the Devil. It was believed that, as God had angels working in his order, the Devil had witches working to corrupt innocent souls. If something went wrong, there were two reasons for it: that you had displeased God or that the Devil was tempting you. So naturally when something as devastating as your child falling ill occurs, you would be looking for someone to blame: a witch.
As the people of Salem based their laws on the teaching of the Bible and believed that the Bible itself told them that witches were to be punished by death. To the people of Salem the forest that surrounded the town was met with suspicion. The forest was inhabited with Indians, and as the Indians were not Christians they were believed to be evil, and therefore any association with the forest was considered to be part of the evil. As the girls were struck down by illness after dancing in the forest, it gave the town people the suspicion of the Devil’s involvement.
The original cause of the suspicion was that two of the girls in the town fell ill, one of who was the daughter of Goody Putnam. Having already lost seven children at young ages, Goody Putnam was very worried for the health of her child. She was also becoming suspicious of how many children she had lost, with them all being seemingly healthy at birth. Goody Putnam was the first to cry witch. As the people of Salem based their laws on the teaching of the Bible they believed that the Bible itself told them that witches were to be punished by death.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 October 2017