The Crucible

There are several similarities and differences between the 1996 movie The Crucible and the truth about what happened in the Salem Witch Trials. Even though there were differences between the movie The Crucible and the actual Salem Witch Trials, the movie summarized the trials very well. Ever since Increase Mather and thirteen or fourteen other pastors signed what was called the Cases of Conscience document, the village of Salem was in major controversy. The farms around there hadnít been farmed in months and the village wasnít looking good. Some of the Puritans blamed this on the witches (A Village Possessed).

It was late one night when two girls by the names of Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams went out into the woods to a camp fire where they found a dozen other girls their age in a circle led by a person named Tituba (The Crucible). Every girl was acting a little strange, but Elizabeth and Abigail were acting a little stranger. Right when things got out of hand, the girls were discovered by Rev. Samuel Parris, pastor of Salem Village and father of Elizabeth Parris. All of the girls scattered and so did Tituba. The true side of the story is that the two girls had made a homemade crystal ball and dropped the white of an egg over it trying to see if they had any visions. Like a lot of the other girls in the village, Abigail and Elizabeth were trying to see into the future to learn who their husbands would be and to see what their husbands would do for a living. The girls went ahead and did this even though they knew that playing with the occult practice of fortune telling was forbidden. The girls knew that tampering with the business of God could "open the door to Satan (Rice Jr.)." It was just a coincidence that something went very wrong that day.

The two girls went to bed that night, but didnít awake the next morning. They just lied motionless in bed like they were in a coma. The girls just lied motionless in bed for days (The Crucible). In the actual trials the girls saw a coffin in their crystal ball instead of their husbands. Soon after, the two girls started having "fits." Their legs and arms flew around their heads while they were shouting a strange different language. This behavior did not stay with just the two girls; it spread to at least eight other girls. The doctors of Salem Village could not give any help; prayer did not even help. The Puritans were convinced that this was the work of the devil and the girls were bewitched (MaGill). But who had bewitched the girls?

The girls that were bewitched began to point their fingers. The first accusation went towards the very strange Tituba. Tituba was a Caribbean Slave (Linder). Sarah Good, a beggar, was another to be accused, and so was Sarah Osborne, an old hermit. The girls would say that they had dreams about these people coming to them telling them to do harm or worship Satan. The accusations continued until the jails were overflowing. The way they would detect the witches is to ask for a confession. If the accused people would admit to doing it, they would live (The Crucible). If they denied it, they would be executed. Some say that they would detect the witches by a small mark on the back of their necks. If the accused person had this small mark, they were a witch (Gragg). After too many people in jail, the trials began.

Normally the girls of the village were seen but not heard from, but on the day of the trials the "afflicted girls" were getting into holes, crawling under chairs, and bending their bodies into weird shapes. As the trials began, Sarah Good, Tituba, and Sarah Osborne waited in jail. Every day a new group of accused people joined them. People of every trade and every characteristic. Every one was in terror that their neighbors would be witches, or even if someone in their house were a witch (A Village Possessed). The movie explained these happenings in the same way. In March of 1692, Rebecca Nurse was one to be accused. In the meetinghouse, Rebecca stood