Mass Hysteria In The Crucible Essay

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People who are perceived as “different” in a society have been persecuted throughout history. As more and more misinformation is spread about them, mass hysteria is created. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, people who are viewed as social outcasts are accused of being witches. Those who seek to extract revenge on these people are given an opportunity by the fear and hysteria that surrounds the community of Salem during this time. Similar to the persecution of “witches” is the AIDS hysteria of the 1980s. The first recorded cases of AIDS caused a major panic, and those with AIDS, as well as the gay community, were targeted. Both of these examples show how mass hysteria is created by the distribution of false information.
In The Crucible, Abigail
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Proctor was fairly well-liked and was a good businessman, far from an outcast. Unfortunately, he had a dark secret: he had committed adultery with Abigail. Being a married man, he tried to push Abigail out of his life, but this proved to be fatal in the end. Abigail forced his hand, and wanting to keep his pride and dignity, he chose to “admit to being a witch” rather than confess to his adultery. Abigail took revenge on Proctor by playing into everyone’s fears of witchcraft. He knew it, too, and stated, “God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore's vengeance, and you must see it now” (pg. …show more content…
In both cases, a group of people were targeted for being different, and many suffered discrimination and even death. The inner evils and hatred of people were unleashed, as many sought revenge and violence against these people. This was all a result of misinformation being spread, and people jumping to conclusions while being ill-informed about the subject. Hysteria is a result of false information, and outsiders are often the