2In the 1600s, Puritans settled on the East coast of the United States In the 1600s, Puritans settled on the East coast of the United States. They brought with them the hope of religious freedom, but instead became embroiled in hysteria over the existence of witches. They had been persecuted in their native England, but they created a theocracy and eventually persecuted others.
3Why did it happen?It began as a way for the oppressed girls to avoid being punished.It then became an ideal way to get revenge on anyone whom you disliked.People started accusing their neighbors of being witches so they could steal their farmland.People accused others of being witches if they wanted to steal their husbands or wives or possessions.
4Most of those accused of being witches were women. Many were healers, and used plants to heal people.Many were without family, and this made them easy targets.They were people who did not fit in with the mainstream for some reason.
5Those accused of being witches were most often found guilty Those accused of being witches were most often found guilty. Sometimes they were sentenced to be tied to a rock dunked in a pond, and if they sank, they were declared innocent. Innocent. If they somehow survived the dunking, they were obviously witches, and they were executed.Most of those found guilty of witchcraft were hung.One man was pressed to death with rocks because he refused to plead guilty or innocent, insuring that his sons still inherited his lands.
6How did it start?In 1692, several girls in the village of Salem, Massachusetts became intrigued when a West Indian servant told them stories of magic and voodoo from her native land.Bored and restricted by the oppressive Puritan life, the girls slipped into the woods one night and “conjured” love charms and hexes.One girl, Betty Parris, slipped into unconsciousness when her father caught them. She wouldn’t wake up, and this started the discussion of witchcraft. To avoid punishment, the girls created the story of the “witches” who made them dance and conjure the spells.
7Salem established 40 years before work ethic leads to increasing economic productivityno literature- seen as “vain enjoyment”holidays= time for worshipidle people sent to court
8Environmentharsh wildernessthreats from Indian attacks
9Puritan Attitudes Indians were “heathens” who could not be converted Intolerant of other religions (even though they were persecuted)Belief that they were “chosen”
10Puritan SocietyTheocracy- combination of state and religion, leaders are divinely guidedTheocracy established to maintain unity, protect Puritan beliefs, and enforce order
11Reverend Parris Parris is a wormy little character. Miller says in his notes that he found nothing redeemable about the historical Parris. As a result, he evidently felt no need to make his fictional version any better.First of all Parris is greedy.The Reverend gives weak justifications, but never denies any of the accusations.Very concerned about his reputation
12Thomas Putnam Turned down as a minister Daughter, Ruth, “afflicted” Wife lost seven of eight childrenResentment felt toward villageSon of the richest man in village
13John Proctor Farmer in mid-thirties Reveals hypocrites Has an affair with Abigail WilliamsProctor was a stand-up guy who spoke his mind.Around town, his name was synonymous with honor and integrity. He took pleasure in exposing hypocrisy and was respected for it. Most importantly, John Proctor respected himself.
14Abigail Villain Extraordinaire Abigail is vengeful, selfish, manipulative, and a magnificent liar.This young lady seems to be uniquely gifted at spreading death and destruction wherever she goes. She has an eerie sense of how to manipulate others, to gain control over them. All these things add up to make her a marvelous antagonist.
15Reverend Hale Considered and expert in the ways of the Devil Called to Salem by Reverend Paris to investigateThis guy has trained and trained to be the best witch-hunter ever, and he's psyched to finally get a chance to show off his stuff.Though he's probably a little full of himself, but ultimately his goal is to valiantly fight the Devil. What could be wrong with that? Well, a whole lot.
16Giles Cory Often blamed for hardships In his eighties Giles Corey is a strong old man and has only recently converted to Christianity. He's likeable, but is not too bright.His biggest bumble in the play is when brings up the fact that his wife reads strange books.To Giles, any book is strange and the idea of a woman wanting to read totally blows his mind. His mention of this fact leads to an accusation that his wife is a witch.
17Goody Putnam Lost seven of eight childern in infancy Convinced the Devil took her childrenResents Rebecca Nurse
18Tituba Reverend Parris’s slave from Barbados The first one to confess to witchcraftConjures spirits with the girls in the woods