Essay title: Salem – Witches Today and Yesterday
What is the difference between witches in today’s society and witches in the past? Why were people accused of being witches? What were the punishments people got when they were accused of being a witch and found guilty? How is the witch trials repeated in history? When someone talks about witches what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most people think of witches from movies such as the witch in the “Wizard of Oz” or in “Snow White and the Sevens Dwarfs”. These two witches are looked at as old, ugly and dressed in black from head to toe. People also think of witches in today’s society riding on brooms and chanting evil curses on their enemies. In the past witches could be anyone from the family doctor to the next door neighbor. The word witch comes from the old English word Wicca which means male witch. Witch also means to cast a spell on others. No matter how a witch is looked at, it’s all about mystery and magic.
In Massachusetts there are two Salem’s, Salem town and Salem village. The villager wanted to be separated from the town. The accusing began in the village at the Parris’s home because of Reverend Parris wanting to accuse people. Then the Parris’s allies the Putnam’s started to get accused of witchcraft. In Salem people were accused to be witches because they were different or an outcast in the community.
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Tituba, who was Glor page2a slave in the Parris household, was an easy person to accuse of practicing witch craft because she was black, mysterious and had a different religion and traditions. If people didn’t attend church they would also be accused of being a witch. Sarah Good was a beggar who everyone thought was mean spirited and always grumbling things to people even if they did give her money or food. She also smoked a pipe, which also gave people a reason to say she was performing witch craft.
Sarah Osborne was another person accused of witchery because she married her servant. Martha Corey, a well known church woman was accused because she was to inherit land from her husband who past way. Other people wanted to take that land from her, so they put a false accession on her. Other people in the village were accused because people didn’t like them or they weren’t in good social standings.
When people were accused of being a witch there were a couple different punishments people could receive if they were found guilty of witchery. The main punishment was to be placed in jail and kept there till further sentencing. After being in jail they were then found guilty.
When found guilty they were burnt at the stakes or hanged during the Holocaust. When being burnt at the stakes authorities would place green wood under the person to be burnt and fuel was poured on the wood. “The reason green wood would be used to burn people at the stake was because it burns slower then other wood. The wood is made up of sixty five percent of water, making the wood harder to burn.” (Powell page 3) Being burnt at the stakes is the most popular punishment. One Glor page 3other major punishment was being hanged.
“In 1620-1725 over 350 people were accused of witchcraft in England. More than eighty percent of those accused were women. In Salem, 185 of those cases happened in one year.
”(Stein page 60) Out of the thirty-five, nineteen were killed in Salem, and fourteen were women. Does history repeat itself? Of course it does, it may not be an exact event but could have some similarities. One of the main historical events that happened in the past that can be compared to the Salem trials is the Holocaust. The Holocaust happened during World War II.
The Nazi regime was the group of people who did the accusing in this incident. Over six million people were taken to Nazi concentration camps. Not only did the Nazis take Jews to these camps but they took Gypsies, Communists, and Jehovah’s witnesses.
Just like in the Salem witch trials, incident people were taken to the camps and killed in many different ways. In the concentration camps they killed people four different ways. The two main ways they killed people were burning them in groups or sending then to the gas chambers. The two other ways were starvation, or a person could be shot.
The Nazi groups can.