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Salem witch Trials - Puritanism and Witchcraft - Essay Example

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By the eighteenth century people did fear the hell and what dwelled within but did not imagine themselves as being ended the way men and especially women of the seventeenth century did. Although women continued to think themselves as terrible sinners they could detach their souls from the devil. The Salem witch trial was an eye opening event for the New Englanders who could take lessons for the future. Even the rhetoric changed in the next century where every out of order behavior was considered unwomanly or improper instead of a devil’s machination. One can easily evaluate the strict and rigid boundaries of the seventeenth century Puritanism which collided with Witchcraft and led to so many deaths which included innocent lives. The impact was so great that even literary figures quoted the famous Salem witch trial in their novels making it the central theme of the story.4 The witchcraft phenomena is deeply understood by the scholars as being rather more psychological with reference to the social and economic backdrop of the culture in which it took place. The conflicts experienced within the Puritan communities were also playing a major role in this uprising.5 It can be wisely concluded that the Salem witchcraft was merely a collision of several issues faced by the Puritan communities along with the spiritual awakening that men and women experienced under the ministers who amplified the existence of devil rather than the love and mercifulness of the God. This led to a chaotic situation

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whereby in the midst rose a figure amongst the Americans who was a slave and confessed of being possessed by the devil. This was Tituba the half-Negro who...
. Once possessed by the devil their fate was decided to be in hell. In the New England especially, new women regarded themselves as lending their years to the evil forces and hence regarded themselves as “rebellious wretches against God”. 1 In this phase of repentance men were regarded more quick than women who lingered on with their feeling of worthlessness and this created a gender difference. It is for this reason that women were convicted more than men for practicing witchcraft as it was thought that the Satan used them and tortured them into following his league. Women tended to overlook the ordinary sin which required repentance and considered then to have signed a pact with the devil. Puritans were made to fear the horrors of hell through the sermons of the ministers and women were placed in a double blind whereby they were accused for comply with any evil thought. They outnumbered the men in the Salem witch trials and was dominated by the haunting half-Negro Tituba who was known for practicing voodoo and chanting spells. Tituba was one of the three women who was accused for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.. It was Tituba’s confession that led the magistrates to believe that the devil was indeed in the midst and subsequently nineteen people were hanged while nearly two hundred were accused and one man was pressed to death. America thus saw a major part of its history as captivated by this deadly trial. Although no detailed scholarly background can be located for Tituba it is heard that she prolonged her life in 1692 through her imaginative ability to “weave and embellish plausible tales”. The ruthless Salem trial was one of its kind and after it ended a lot changed over the century. By the eighteenth century people did fear the hell and what dwelled within but did not imagine themselves as being ended the way men and especially women of the seventeenth century did. Although women continued to think themselves as terrible sinners they could detach their souls from the devil.
The Salem witch trial was an eye opening event for the New Englanders who could take lessons for the future. Even the rhetoric changed in the next century where every out of order behavior was considered unwomanly or improper instead of a devil’s machination. One can easily evaluate the strict and rigid boundaries of the seventeenth century Puritanism which collided with Witchcraft and led to so many deaths which included innocent lives. The impact was so great that even literary figures quoted the famous Salem witch trial in their novels making it the central theme of the story. The witchcraft phenomena is deeply understood by the scholars as being rather more psychological with reference to the social and economic backdrop of the culture in which it took place. The conflicts experienced within the Puritan communities were also playing a major role in this uprising. It can be wisely concluded that the Salem witchcraft was merely a collision of several issues faced by the Puritan communities along with the spiritual awakening that men and women experienced under the ministers who amplified the existence of devil rather than the love and mercifulness of the God. This led to a chaotic situation whereby in the midst rose a figure amongst the Americans who was a slave and confessed of being possessed by the devil. This was Tituba the half-Negro who left a permanent mark on the face of history and people today still try to trace her and connect her with the whole Salem witch trial. They believe that she could have saved many lives by not openly claiming her attachment with the devil. She was a storyteller who stretched her life by narrating a strongly knitted plot through the use of her strong imagination. The devil’s theology subtly shifted after the trial as men and women gradually altered their relationship with sin and the Satan.

Summary

The seventeenth century women were often questioned about their reliance because they were doubted to be practicing witchcraft which was condemned in the strict puritanical faith. Puritans strongly believed that both salvation and damnation were ordained by God and man had no role to play in deciding who would go to heaven and hell. …
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