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Mass Hysteria

  • Date Submitted: 04/03/2010 01:33 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.2 
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Mass Hysteria
      If you’re in a store with a large number of people you might get followed around. If you’re walking at night and you see a group of men ahead of you, you might cross the street. A group of people will alienate others or be alienated because there is something inside us that reacts unconsciously to fear. Our heightened fear of something can cause us to react hysterically. In an event of mass hysteria people will setout on a witch-hunt.   Throughout history there have been numerous accounts of witch-hunts. A person’s or group of people’s beliefs/accusations can cause a whirlwind of hysteria in a society. As a result, innocent people are scapegoated in order to justify the frenzy and bring it to an end. There have been many accounts of witch-hunts in out society such as The Crucible, Farewell to Manzanar, The Red Scare, The Holocaust, and in modern times.
During 1692, in the Puritan New England town of Salem, Massachusetts, hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft. Nineteen were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging while dozens of others sat in jail. The Crucible is a fictionalized account that depicts the events of the Salem Witch Trials.
In the story there are three sets of victims. The first set of victims are people low in society, the second are those who have personal issues with accusers, such as jealousy or power. The last set of victims are those who will not conform and go against the court. The first people accused of witchcraft are Tituba, Sarah Good and Goody Osburn. Tituba is a slave and the other two women are both homeless and have no upstanding reputation in the town. This allows the accusations of the women to be more believable. The next accuseds are Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, George Jacobs, Bridget Bishop and Martha Corey. They are accused because they have personal issues with their accusers. For example in The Crucible Giles says, “If Jacobs hang for a witch he forfeit up his property- that’s law! And...

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