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Puritanism During The Salem Witch Trials

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The Puritans in the time of the Salem Witch trials showed that it was possible for humans to lose all 'rational' thought and blindly condemn people to death. Arthur Miller, a contemporary American playwright, dramatized these proceedings in the attempt to mirror the McCarthy investigations, and show how absurd they truly were.
Arthur Miller says of the Puritans, 'They believed, in short, that they held in their steady hands the candle that would light the world. We have inherited this belief, and it has helped and hurt us.' Americans today believe that this country possesses a 'candle' for the world, though many would argue over what exactly the 'candle' is representative of. The majority of people would likely comply with the thought of the 'candle' portraying the freedom that can be found in the United States. The 'candle' put into biblical terms would perhaps be the light shining on everything, like a beacon to all the world, showing what can be found in America. To many citizens of foreign countries, America is seen as a paradise, because here if one possesses the desire and motivation a person can be whatever they wish. In the 1700's, many immigrants came to the New World in the search of this freedom. One of these groups, the Puritans, came in the hope of founding an order composed of pure and untainted Christians. Even today many immigrants, both legal and illegal, come to the United States with the hope of escaping the oppression found in many parts of the world.
Puritanism as a whole was a society of strict, exclusive, conformists who believed they had a predestined path in life. Puritans had a drab, simple way of life with no vain enjoyment. They were very self-righteous, did not believe in leisure, rest or fun, had an intense work ...

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