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Word Count: 695
Hysteria in Salem Hysteria is defined as the behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess Fear can produce a state of general hysteria that results in the destruction of public order and rationality The breakdown in Salem Massachusetts leads to a tragedy in which many innocent people die Arthur Miller author of The Crucible uses the theme of hysteria to emphasize personality flaws in vulnerable characters The accusations of witchcraft in Salem exploits the populations weakest qualities and insecurities When the truth is discovered about what the girls dancing in the woods the girls are not tried for witchcraft Instead the blame is put on Tituba the black slave who is said to have charmed the girls Abigail thinking of her own self and afraid of being accused of witchcraft blatantly lies and says She Tituba made me do it She made Betty do it She makes me drink blood Act I p 1057 The other girls including Betty know that Abigail is lying but they say absolutely nothing thus going along with her and causing false accusations This is one of the first accusations and it leads to many more Because the Puritan lifestyle was such a rigid social system it did not allow for any variation of lifestyle The girls are scared of admitting to their activities in the woods therefore they hide their fear and blame other people The circumstances surrounding the trials such as their strict way of living give people something to blame the supernatural on The state of mass confusion in Salem creates a society of individuals who are only concerned with what is good for them so they are not the next ones to be implicated in the witchery scandal This situation is especially evident at the end of Act I First it is Abigail blaming Tituba to save herself then Tituba blames Goody Good and Goody Osburn to
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