The Crucible Hysteria

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Pages: 6

The Salem Fear Trials
Throughout history, humanity has seen numerous accounts of hysteria spread amongst others creating an illogical and irrational society, ultimately resulting in havok. This sense of irrationality was responsible for the 400 deaths that took place during the Dancing Plague of 1518. In this historical example of mass hysteria, began with a woman believed to be named Frau Troffea who suddenly had the urge to dance. Records state that she danced for about a week, and before long, dozens of other residents of Strasbourg mimicked. This amount quickly escalated to thousands within months which eventually took the lives of around 400 civilians due to exhaustion, heart attacks, and strokes. This bizarre event draws close parallels
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In “Why I Wrote The Crucible,” Miller stresses that the threats of communism were “not entirely based on illusion, of course; the paranoid, real or pretended, always secrets its pearl around a grain of fact.” (Miller). The author suggests that the accusations of communism were not strictly based on solid evidence, but rather due to the mass paranoia that subsequently expanded into a snowball effect, eventually resulting in a conformity between many Americans. The McCarthy trials relate closely to The Crucible because in both stories the bystanders felt obligated to fulfil the expected qualities of believing all threats that were potentially dangerous. This reasoning was responsible for the formation of the conformist societies that strictly depended on their reaction to their fears.This example once again provides evidence as to why fear has the overwhelming power to extort our mental judgment resulting in conformity and …show more content…
Mentioned in “The Lesson of Salem,” Laura Shapiro stated that the Puritan laws “demanded lifelong discipline and self-control, the sessions with Tituba represented a rare and risky bit of indulgence in pure fancy.” (Shapiro). This quote signifies that Abigail and the other young girls were weary of the Puritan laws, and hoped to find a sense of freedom and rebellion to do as they please. This serves as structural evidence of how the young girls were pressured into the conformity of corresponding to the Puritan laws that society demanded for them to follow. This may serve as a primary cause as to why the girls rebelled because the Puritan society ordered such strict guidelines of maturity and self-control to the point where the girls couldn't obey anymore. Although the girls were rebellious and brave enough to completely disregard the Puritan law, they were quickly diminished by the thought of punishment when they were caught in the woods. However to avoid their fears of punishment, they profoundly agreed with Abigail's threats and quickly pawed the guilt on other innocent people, once again leading to the hysteria that destroyed the town. The psychological makeup of a person to deal with fear has once again shown that it will alter your true ability to think rationally and have individual thoughts. With that