Mass hysteria in the crucible

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Mass hysteria in the crucible

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Intolerance The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism.

Because of the theocratic nature of the society, moral laws and state laws are one and the same: In Salem, everything and everyone belongs to either God or the devil; dissent is not merely unlawful, it is associated with satanic activity.

This dichotomy functions as the underlying logic behind the witch trials. Hysteria Another critical theme in The Crucible is the role that hysteria can play in tearing apart a community. Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing absurd and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on.

In The Crucible, the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of genuine religious piety but also because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges.

The most obvious case is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to jail. But others thrive on the hysteria as well: Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village, albeit temporarily, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority.

In the end, hysteria can thrive only because people benefit from it. It suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of righteousness. Reputation Reputation is tremendously important in theocratic Salem, where public and private moralities are one and the same.

In an environment where reputation plays such an important role, the fear of guilt by association becomes particularly pernicious. Focused on maintaining public reputation, the townsfolk of Salem must fear that the sins of their friends and associates will taint their names.

Various characters base their actions on the desire to protect their respective reputations. Meanwhile, the protagonist, John Proctor, also seeks to keep his good name from being tarnished.

By refusing to relinquish his name, he redeems himself for his earlier failure and dies with integrity.

Goodness In The Crucible, the idea of goodness is a major theme. Almost every character is concerned with the concept of goodness, because their religion teaches them that the most important thing in life is how they will be judged by God after they die.

Mass hysteria in the crucible

They want to be found good, because being good will make them right with God. The characters want to be seen as good by the whole village. From the opening of the play, when the Rev. Other characters, such as Mary Warren, confess, because being seen as good is more important to them than telling the truth.

We see the struggle in the Rev. Hale, Elizabeth Proctor, and John Proctor. By the end of the play, he has examined his conscience and realized that if he wants to be at peace with himself, he has to encourage the prisoners to falsely confess.

Elizabeth is also convinced of herself as a good woman, but by the end of the play, she has reconsidered her treatment of her husband after he confessed to an affair, and realizes that she was unforgiving. John struggles the most with goodness: Judgment Another major theme in The Crucible is that of judgment, especially seen in the characters of Danforth and Rev.

Mass hysteria in the crucible

In the third act of the play, Deputy Governor Danforth sits in judgment over the accused and imprisoned residents of Salem. Elizabeth, Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, and many others are not witches at all.

Danforth is unable to change his mind, even when all evidence and logic points him towards concluding he is incorrect. Danforth mistakenly believes that a reliable judge never reconsiders his stance.

From the SparkNotes Blog

Hale, on the other hand, Hale learns the foolishness of sitting in judgment over his fellow humans. Danforth has not learned the danger of judging others, while Hale has.hysteria/mass hysteria: phenomenon that overtook the town of Salem in Through the power of suggestion, many people came to believe the town was overrun by witches.

Also called “the madness.”. Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' is about the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in the 17th century. This lesson takes a look at the use of hysteria in ''The Crucible. The Salem Witch Museum is a museum in Salem, MA about the Witch Trials of The museum is based on the actual documents of the trials.

Plan a visit to check out the scenes, and listen to the accurate narration from the history of the Salem Witch Hunt.

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Enjoy the self-guided tours in one of the most historic places of New England. From June through September of , nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Day-care sex-abuse hysteria was a moral panic that occurred primarily in the s and early s featuring charges against day-care providers of several forms of child abuse, including Satanic ritual abuse.

A prominent case in Kern County, California first brought the issue of day-care sexual abuse to the forefront of the public awareness, and the issue figured prominently in news coverage. Imagine a super-constrictive time in history. Think confining apparel.

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Think proper social etiquette. Think mass hysteria that makes entire communities suspicious and paranoid. Sure, on the surface this play appears to be totally about the Salem Witch Trials.

But Arthur Miller intended to use the.

What are some examples of hysteria in The Crucible? | eNotes