The Crucible – Factors which contributed to the hysteria in Salem; which made it possible for the events to happen

  1. Jealousy:

    Putnam of Proctor (among others ) over land, of Parris for his position of influence and for not being ‘his’ man

    Ann Putnam of Rebecca Nurse (midwife) because she lost 7 babies and Rebecca has many.

    Giles
    of his new wife’s learning

    Abigail
    of Elizabeth Proctor because of John

    The miserable
    of the happy e.g. the Putnams.

    Those that go to church
    versus those that don’t and get away with it!

    Parris
    of Proctor for his valued integrity and status as an honest man in the community.

  2. Prejudice and hatred due to ignorance:Putnam and Mary Warren of Sarah Good and Goody Osburn
    Tituba of Rev Parris
  3. Vindictiveness:Putnam for previous ministers, one of whom he had jailed for debts, and because of his father’s will which saw him left less than his brother.
  4. Fear:of the land, forest, climate, Indians and of their own baser nature.
  5. Snobbery:Putnams think they’re better than others

    Parris thinks he’s better than everyone else in the community

    Abigail
    just thinks she can get away with it because the others fear her!

  6. Love of minding each other’s business:Cheever of Proctor ‘he plough on Sunday’
  7. Guilt of own sins of:lust for someone else’s husband or wife, resentment of the power of the church, of its restrictions

Their hatred of each other was palpable in the community. The only time they banded together was against a common enemy, so divide and rule was a perfect method for Abigail here. Because they were always afraid it was easy to transfer their fears onto softer targets particularly if they had any sort of grudge against them or feared them. Divide and rule: they see that the best way to deflect attention away from themselves is to accuse someone else first.

 


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