The Crucible

What caused the Salem Witch trials? One women. A slave from Barbados named Tituba who only served the curiosity of a group of girls. This was an obscene period in this nations history that took the lives of seventeen innocent people. It made a mockery of the courts and of our own beliefs. What motivated the accusers to start such a heinous crime of hatred? Only those few shall ever know their true intentions, but for us they professed a small window into their hearts.

Abigail Williams is a name to be shamed for centuries to come. She was but one teenage girl with lust in her heart. A longing for a man she had once known who no longer desired her company. In a mood of hatred and jealousy, she schemed up a plan. One single word would be her army of thousands. That word was witchcraft. An invisible crime created by accusations and fear. It all started with a harmless dance in the woods. Voo doo and superstition mixed together at the absolute wrong place. Then, because of fear or just shamefulness, two innocent women, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne were first accused of witchery. These women were chosen because another looked down upon them. One who placed their names into the mind of a frightened girl with no other place to turn but pretense. As this act grew, it assimilated more and more girls who did not wish to be trampled in its path.

From there it matured into a hideous beast of burden. Passing from judges to reverends, to commons people. None of which could fully understand the level of trickery being played out before them. In an age where myth and tale were taken with awe and belief, a group of young girls fooled a town. When Reverend Hale was called in to investigate his forte, he never dreamed he would be hanging the golden hearted. He was warned by a Mrs. Proctor, “There are fires burning within fires and wheels spinning within wheels.” But what was he to do? He was the expert and Salem came calling. When Mr. Hale discovered the ulterior motives, he dropped his tools and left town.

Mr. Danforth had the unfortunate responsibility of presiding as judge for these trials. What does one do when you have the sole duty of deciding life or death for a crime with evidence coming from a well taught choir? If he were to dismiss these “bewitchings” then he also would be branded with his own mark.

John Proctor did nothing but try to abolish this snowballing performance. He went to the extent of demeaning his own name with the crime of lechery. But not even the sweating stallion for which Abigail lusted, could escape the wake of Ms. Williams’s fury. Mary Warren admitted to playing along with the other girls. But, when presented to the court, who could keep their integrity intact with the shadows of gallows hanging over their souls? Of course one could always “admit” to the crime. With the shame of abandoning your religion forever branded upon your forehead. When all of these factors acted on one another, not one person was truly safe.

Can one women from Barbados, a single house maid, have enough influence on a single town to ring an entire town of its wits? Yes, one women can cause all this spinning and weaving of lies. Yes, one women can single handedly cause death and turmoil. But you have to ask yourself; did she mean to?