The Hysteria of Salem Witchcraft Essay

Decent Essays

The Hysteria of Salem Witchcraft

Although there has been a long history of witchcraft, the main concentration is from the periods of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the British North American colonies alone there were over 100 witchcraft trials alone, were 40 percent of the accused were executed. Now two professors, Carol F. Karlsen of history and Kai T. Erikson of sociology, examine the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria to see if it was caused by a fear of women and give two entirely different interpretations.

The first professor, Carol F. Karlsen, agreed that the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria was caused by a fear of women. She agrees that the belief in the Puritian culture, that women were evil, existed because they …show more content…

It was all seen through the women’s new ways of forwardness and liberties. A good example was with Adam and Eve being punished for the sin of pride, rebelling against the order of creation, but Eve was seen as rebelling both as part of man and as man’s other. This is how Eve was seen as the fall of man. “Yet looking upon her as made for the man, and by the Creators law owing a subordination to him, so she may also be looked upon as instrumental.” as said by Willard. Willard means that Eve should have encouraged Adam to obey God since she was created to serve man, but she didn’t. This caused her to be seen as a mischief and for the cause of the downfall of man. For the actions of Eve God placed a special curse on the female race, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children: and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” It was seen that part of women’s sin was the seduction of man and another was her failure to serve man. Although Willard never actually said that there was a direct connection between woman and Satan, he thought that woman was influenced by the Devil and she did what she did voluntary of her own free will.

In the Puritian society, Eve was seen as the main

Get Access