A Delusion of Satan Essay Example
A Delusion of Satan Essay Example

A Delusion of Satan Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (955 words)
  • Published: March 23, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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A Delusion of Satan, was written by Frances Hill and covers in the personal situations of the people in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The book opens up describing the intense and strict life style of the Puritan. Then we go into discussion of the town of Salem at the time, being owned by mainly the Putman family. The pastor there, Samuel Parris, has lived there in Salem since 1689. He resides with his wife, his children, niece (Abigail Williams), and two Caribbean Indian slaves, Tituba and John Indian. The Parris family also had two other children with them which was common during this time.

Then Abigail and one of Parris’s daughters, Betty, began to have odd tantrums and the conclusion to why suddenly the girls were acting this way, was that they were possessed by Sata


n. Doctors were called in but the only diagnosis was the possession of the devil. Suspicions were then placed on the Indian slave Tituba because it was understood by the people in Salem that she practiced witchcraft. Eventually, Tituba and the neighbors Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne were arrested for causing harm to Abigail and Betty. While on trial, the judge Hawthorne new in his mind and heart that they were guilty. Their trial could be said to be quite unfair.

During the trial, Tibuba did admit to practicing witchcraft however, it is unclear whether or not Samuel Parris was persuading her to admit to it or not. The first person accused among the church was Martha Cory, who was accused of bewitching three people. Then Mrs. Puttman’s mother dies and she joins the accusations, which is a

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critical moment since the Puttman’s own most of Salem. Soon, the entire village was accusing one another for being involved in witchcraft. It was literally full blown chaos. At the end of it all, twenty people were hung, four died in jail, and hundreds more were sent to jail.

A higher court was established in Salem to oversee the witch trials. Soon after Samuel Parris was banned from Salem and Mrs. Puttman apologizes to the people stating that the people she accused, were in fact innocent, and that everything was entirely a great delusion of Satan. Now first reading the book in the introduction the author, Frances Hill, clearly feels obligated to share the stories of the Salem witch trials not for mere curiousity, but to show the world to cruelty of the human heart. Hill shows describtion of this, “Mercy Lewis was tortured by Elizabeth Proctor the very next day.

Elizabeth would bite and pinch her. ” (pg. 102). Now while reading this, biting and pinching doesn’t sound too awful, but what really was cruelty was the nature of punishment the Puritan’s would endure. In the first chapter, the Puritan lifestyle is described and so are Samuel Parris’s sermons. An example of his sermon’s would describe punishment as, “it is better have 1000 lashings than it is to spend in eternal fire. ” Since the slightest thing, in a Puritan’s eye, is considered sinful and no punishment is too great for a small sin, there is no way to imagine the kind of lifestyle these people were living.

While reading this book, there was a huge interest being sparked for wanting to know the true and evil

nature of humans, however Hill really did not execute the delivery properly. At times the material felt unorganized and there was too much and too different information being stated at one time. In the beginnings of Chapter Four, there is a discussion of whether or not Tituba is guilty, but then the material trails off to the ideas of witchcraft within Western Europe. The material is interesting, but is kind of unnecessary.

It’s not making a clearer point about the Salem towns people views because it was already described in the first chapter, but it also shows that Hill has done all the research and knows the information on the subject of witchcraft in the west. However, even if there was a sense of unorganization with material, Hill was able to describe the trials and the people in ways that a novelist would do. Having read both fiction and nonfiction, I would believe that fiction is much easier to read, but Hill managed to take an informative nonfiction piece of work and make it appealing to even the laziest of readers.

While describing Nathenial, Hill writes, “The tone of his account, written several years after the event, is of deep pain and sorrow rather than rage. ” (pg 148). Having been described something like that and becoming so in depth with a real person, makes this nonfiction book seem like it’s a novel filled with drama and suspense. Having been very interested in the paranormal, witchcraft, and oddly enough the cruelty of peoples’ hearts, I was eager to pick up this book and read it. Since I am not a devoted reader, I was kind of skeptical

about it, but Hill provides a lot research and a very clear and informative message.

There was no bias about this book whatsoever. There was no sense of anger towards the Puritan’s for taking the accusations too far, nor was there any remorse of Samuel Parris after he was cast away. The message the author was trying to get across is very clear; that we must look at the past so we don’t do the same things the people in Salem did because even today there is accusations being made about communists, terrorists, etc. If a reader enjoys the paranormal and misguiding cruelty, then this would be a book that is highly recommended to be picked up and read.

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