Salem Witchcraft Essay

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Salem Witchcraft Witchcraft accusations and trials in 1692 rocked the colony of Salem Massachusetts. There are some different views that are offered concerning why neighbors decided to condemn the people around them as witches and why they did what they did to one another. Carol Karlsen in her book The Devil in the Shape of a Woman and Bernard Rosenthal in Salem Story give several factors, ranging from woman hunting to shear malice, that help explain why the Salem trials took place and why they reached the magnitude that they did. The theories put fourth by Karlsen of a society that accusations against women as witches explain the trail, and Rosenthals ideas of discourse in the community are supported or partially disproved by…show more content…
He stooped down to pick up the rake or pitchfork to strike her, when she vanished.”2 The slave testified against her as a witch, and even though she was not convicted of witchcraft this earlier trial demonstrates that Bridget was previously suspected of witchcraft. Besides being accused of witchcraft earlier Bishop also had some other characteristics that helped mark her as a witch. Karlsen points out that many witches, including Bishop, where accused of witchcraft only a year or two after they had become widows.3 The loss of her husband leaves Bishop without a male protector for a bit of time and allows for more accusations to come up against her. Bishop’s husbands passing gives her power that Puritan women don’t usually have. Bridget was granted the write, “for the sale of the land aforesaid unto Mr. Daniel Eppes.”4 This action shows how Bridget Bishop was not in the usual role of women because she was in control of some property and was able to use some power over that land. Women in Puritan society where expected to be married and to help their husbands. Karlsen points out that Puritan women where expected to fit into certain rolls in which they should be submissive.5 If a woman did not fit into the roll of the Puritan woman then she had a better chance of being accused of witchcraft. Bridget Bishop did not fit the perfect vision of women that the Puritans
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