The Salem Hysteria: Dispelling the Myths
Kiel, Karrie D.
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When I originally began my SlP, it was with great enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. Now, nine months and several unfortunate circumstances later, I have mixed emotions, perhaps the strongest of which is anxiety. I began my research with the intent of exploring the myth of witchcraft and Salem. Through the course of time and knowledge, my emphasis and direction have shifted many times. I have approached the paradox of Salem from many angles. And I've left just as many angles untouched. Somewhere along the way the examination with witchcraft was left behind. I learned that what happened in Salem was far away from witchcraft and witches. The trials are about people, most of them confused, frightened or angry. There is no one answer to Salem any more than there is one answer to life. In this paper I will attempt to show three of the answers to Salem. They may or may not be right, but they are worthy of examination. Together they help us to understand perhaps a little better the events of Salem and possibly our own events in life. Virtually every academic discipline has approached the question of the Salem witch trials, each from its own particular point of view. In examining those which are not our specialty, we open our minds for growth and acceptance.