The Causes Of Witchcraft

Decent Essays

The human mind has always tried to grapple with inconsistencies, misfortunes, and differences. Without true success, humans have pinpointed possible influences and causes of misfortunes or tragedies within their communities. For many people in the 1600’s, witchcraft was a possible answer to a lack of success in pinpointing the cause of tragedies. Gossip was the the primary root in all such instances of witchcraft, weaving stories and accusations in private. These accusations of witchcraft did not end in the 17th century, but now hide under pseudonyms such as “different” or “outsider” in this day and age. The Lisbon sisters and Janie from The Virgin Suicides and Their Eyes Were Watching God, respectively, are modern day examples of how gossip can catalyze witch-hunts to persecute and incite violence upon women who differ from the status quo. Janie and the Lisbon sisters possess many characteristics often attributed to witches: sexual deviance, religious discord, and they are each outsiders in their community. Witch craft is heavily influenced by rumor and gossip in the sense that witchcraft would not exist without rumor and gossip to be fear leaders in witch-hunts. The fear that gossip and rumor bring about in a community often snowballs into acts of irrevocable violence and sometimes death, as is the case in The Virgin Suicides. Women have always been the targets of witch hunts for two main reasons: one being that men were perceived as stronger than women, and therefore,

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