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Salem witch trial hysteria essay LearnZillion
In other words, the past is just as contested as the present, andthat's because how we view our past is integrally connected with howwe understand our current needs. In our more distant past, and Ihope you'll forgive me for oversimplifying in order to save time—inour more distant past, what is the most salient fact in Americanhistory? That a group of middle-class and well-off white menestablished a new nation on the basis of shared and stated principlesof life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and as an expressionof those principles created the second most successful constitutionin the history of the world? Or that for 90 years that new nationcondoned the institution of slavery, which by virtue of its veryexistence gave the lie to the principles so sacred to that wonderfulconstitution, and then, for another 100 years, winked atpseudo-official practices whose single aim was to maintain as much ofthe institution of slavery as possible? Or, to take much more recenthistory: was the Vietnam War the ultimate expression of thearrogance of American belief in our own "manifest destiny"or a war in defense of freedom that was undercut by the treachery ofunpatriotic "peaceniks" back home?
ed. Douglas O. Linder. History of witchcraft persecutions, an account of the events in Salem, teaching materials. A web site by a professor of law.
Essay Salem Witch Trials Essays Essays On The Salem Witch Trials
The events that took place in the town of Salem and nearby towns in Massachusetts will be forever regarded as one of our young nation's most tarnished moments in history.
A selective list of online literary criticism and analysis for the nineteenth-century American novelist, poet, and writer of tales Nathaniel Hawthorne, with links to reliable biographical and introductory material and signed, peer-reviewed, and scholarly literary criticism
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The hardest phase in Hawthorne interpretation to characterize interms of its contemporary context is the historicist criticism of thelast 25 years. That's because I think we are still, at least to acertain extent, living in that contemporary context and thereforehaven't yet got the historical distance necessary to be able to bringthe period into focus. But let me take a shot, with, of course, thecaveat that this is a hypothesis that remains to be proven.
The psychological readings of the 1960's and early 1970's make sensetoo if we consider them in the context of the contemporary Americancultural scene and in two respects that I can think of: 1) Crews andthe other Freudian interpreters of Hawthorne were writing right afterthe introduction of the contraceptive pill and therefore during thesexual liberation that the pill helped to make happen. Thereforethere should be little surprise that sex was on people's minds andthat Crews and others would see Hawthorne's fiction as being aboutrepressed sexuality. 2) It is in the 1960's that it finally becomespossible to talk openly about psychoanalysis. In the movies of JohnFord, John Huston, or Alfred Hitchcock (with the exception, ofcourse, of Spellbound or Psycho, and there we'retalking about severely deranged people), characters don't haveregular visits with their therapists, and if they did, they wouldn'ttalk about it. But in the movies of Woody Allen, the characters notonly visit their therapists regularly and talk about it openly, theypositively boast about it. There was a sea change, one result ofwhich was that the stigma of being a patient in psychoanalysisdisappeared. Therefore it makes sense that at the same time,interpreters of Hawthorne would be open to interpreting his storiesin psychoanalytic terms.
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Essays comparing the salem witch trials and the crucible
But while a decade ago critics were discovering that Hawthorne'sPuritan fiction was all about American national ambivalence aboutslavery and the lack of national consensus required for the newnation to forge an identity, now—if I may hazard a predictionbased on a few examples of work in progress on Hawthorne's fictionthat I have read lately—now we shall begin to see thatHawthorne's fiction is about history itself: about how at the sametime we cannot avoid the consequences of our history and cannot,because we are distanced from it, fully know our history, which inturn accounts for the apparent obsession in Hawthorne's writing withhistory.
Significance of Salem Witch Trials | CourseNotes
As an allegory of science, the tale, according to Baym, is a critiqueof scientific obsessiveness, a classic example of the "madscientist" theme with which we have become so familiar sinceHawthorne's time. Science is supposed to be about reason, but whatthis tale shows, according to Baym, is that the scientists init—Rappaccini, Baglioni, and Giovanni—"are not menof reason but visionary fanatics" (429), and therefore what thetale could be seen as dramatizing is the danger of their fanaticism.
Witch trials in the early modern period - Wikipedia
Like "Young Goodman Brown," "Rappaccini's Daughter"has lent itself to varying religious, psychological, and historicalinterpretations. For the purposes of time, I won't give you asdetailed an account of these interpretations as I did with "YoungGoodman Brown." Instead, here is what one well-known Hawthornecritic, Nina Baym, said about "Rappaccini's Daughter" inher 1976 book, The Shape of Hawthorne's Career: "this isone of the richest stories in the canon,[...] It offers itself as anallegory of faith, an allegory of science, and an allegory of sex allat once" (428). As "an allegory of faith," the story shows that ifGiovanni had continued to believe in Beatrice, she never would haveseemed poisonous to him or to herself, and in so doing, the storyleads to the conclusion that belief requires persistence, and "notmerely that one must persist without evidence" but that "onemust persist in belief despite evidence" (428-29). That's a pretty profound definition of what faith is: the ability tocontinue to believe in something even when evidence suggests youshouldn't.
Salem Witch Trials 1692 - Term Paper - Kiru28
This tale involves four characters: the obsessed Padua scientist,Rappaccini; his daughter Beatrice, who is the only person who cansurvive exposure to the poisonous plants her father has bred as apart of his experiments; Rappaccini's rival, Dr. Baglioni, who is aprofessor of medicine at the university; and Baglioni's student,Giovanni, who befriends and then falls in love with Beatrice only tofind that he has in the process developed the same immunity asBeatrice to Rappaccini's poisonous plants. When Giovanni comes toPadua to take up his studies, he happens to take a room overlookingthe garden where Rappaccini raises his plants; Giovanni becomesattracted to Beatrice, whom he sees in the garden. They begin tospend time together and then become attached to each other. Baglionigets wind of this and tells Giovanni that he has become a victim ofan experiment of Rappaccini's. This seems to have become true, forGiovanni realizes that his breath has become just as poisonous toother creatures as Beatrice's already was. Rappaccini, therefore,seems to have gradually exposed Giovanni's constitution toBeatrice's, which has altered it to the point where it has becomelike hers. Rappaccini admits as much when, at the very end of thestory, he tells his daughter that he has created in the alteredGiovanni a companion for her. Baglioni convinces Giovanni to acceptan antidote that he has prepared; Giovanni gives this antidote toBeatrice, who swallows it and dies.
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