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Reasons For The Salem Witch Trials Essay, Research Paper

The people of the town of a Salem led a very repressed, controlled and sheltered life. Of all the people it was the children who suffered the most. These children were pent up, not allowed to play, or do anything normal children do. They were forced to read the bible constantly. The elders thought them to be thankful for being permitted to walk straight, with their eyes slightly lowered, arms at their sides, and mouths kept shut until ordered to speak. What kind of a life is this for a child?

The rest of Salem was also imprisoned in invisible walls. It was as not as obvious under the guise of the church. Unfortunately we cannot know exactly what their lives were like because they were not allowed to write or read novels. The only written word that was allowed was the bible. The people wee not allowed to do anything that even feigned enjoyment. They did not celebrate Christmas, and any day off was just one more day to focus on prayer. What kind of life is this for an adult?

They lived in a world full of irony, with heavy wool pulled over their eyes. They were forced to attend church to prove to the people they were one of the elect, chosen ones, who were predetermined to go to heaven. The reverend was corrupt and wanted the laity to buy him lavish gifts and a mansion. Preachers should not conduct themselves in this manner, for they are men after God’s own heart not men after worldly possessions.

The people were also watched like dogs and any problems were reported immediately to someone of authority. During the time of church two men were told to “walk fort in the time of god’s worship and take note of any such who lye about the meeting house, without attending the word of ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to take the names of such persons, and to present them to the magistrates whereby they may be accordingly preceded against.” This shows how untrusting and watchful the church was in the theocracy these people created. Supposedly they left England in order to find religious freedom in the New World. They didn’t find that freedom in the New World and created a society based around it. They built a society based around the Protestant way of life and that life only and recreated a world almost exactly like the one they had just recently left.

The townsfolk of Salem were horribly repressed and imprisoned in a society based around God. The people created a witch-hunt to allow them to say and do things not normally aloud in public. They could take vengeance on a neighbor by calling them a witch or saying another man’s wife’s spirit came to him at night and could have them tried for witchcraft. The witch trials were not about witches but rather about an escape from the repressed pilgrim life.


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