I awoke today with the light streaming into my room and hearing the birds chirping in the distance. As I regained my conscience, I smelled the mold and felt damp room conditions all around me that imprisoned me. It reminded me of what would have happened only in a nightmare. It was only yesterday that Corey, Nurse, Hale and I had gone to help the accused women. So many times I felt that I could win the battle, yet just as many times I could feel the rope slipping through my fingers. Mary Warren, that weakling, attempted to bring about the truth about Abigail but Danforth and Parris, loggerheaded, flap-mouthed louts, attacked her. She even decided to lie to make Danforth and Parris see reason, but no matter what, they would not stop barking at her. But she is also at fault; clearly she cannot handle pressure. Had they been animals, I would surely have slit their throats to silence them. Abigail began to turn against Mary. My anger and guilt that have been brewing inside my gut for several weeks now finally regurgitated. I confessed! I confessed to committing adultery with Abigail. Oh how dearly I wanted to stop this madness and ruin her credibility.
Out of fury, I wrenched the vile animal by her hair, as if I could take her head off with it. At first the judges did not believe me, but when Elizabeth was brought in, she attempted to protect me and said that I never committed such a sin. I can now see that she is completely allegiant and that I completely regret what I did; I have forgotten what love meant. It weakens my knees and brings tears to my eyes to see how I have completely disremembered the love and the trust of my one and only wife. However, as I took a glanced at Abigail, there was a slight smile behind her maddened face. She acted up again and began to copy everything that Mary said. At first, it was just her, but like a spectacle, the rest of them followed inherently and heedlessly.
Incomprehensibly, Mary collapsed. The wall protecting her and me finally fell to Abigail’s constant battering. In the weakness of her poor heart, she concocted a lie and accused me to be under the influence of the devil. I felt the blood in my veins rushing to my head and the pulsation of my inner beats. The pulses of my heart were pounding uncontrollably against my temple. Obviously I was quiet enraged but from there to my cell, I do not remember much. As I was taken out of the courtroom, I heard the real corrupt witch continuously howling that pains my ear so much. I can only image what Elizabeth could be doing now, only in my head, and never in truly anymore.
I open my trunk and pulled out the diary that Elizabeth presented to me as a gift many years ago. I take comfort in the fact that her breath stained these pages and the days when no barriers fell between us. Now with a pen in my hand and a brand new diary that smelled like a new bible, I begin to recall the incidence of last night. Perhaps the best way to placate is to vent, I cannot tell anyone but you. My bond with Elizabeth was deteriorating; she had suggested that I go to Salem to testify against Abigail. Self-consciously, I told myself to not get involved with the trials to keep my deadly sin of adultery to myself and I wanted to sever my ties with Abigail forever. I only wanted to move on with life as a good follower of God, instead of dwelling upon the past. When Mary Warren was not home, I realized that she clearly forbade my command. She told me about Abigail convicting many women. I thought it to be titterable in a way. However, when she mentioned Elizabeth, I turned into a lion pouncing on a prey.
That night Hale came to my home to judge me, as God would do. I feel lost, as if the whole world was turning their backs against me, but it way my fault for having forgot one of the Ten Commandments. I feel that I have let Him down and now I know how Goody Osborne felt in the courtroom with all eyes on her, including Him. Even though Parris was not there, I could taste his bitterness on my tongue. I am bewildered at his accusation against me! I have not lost my innocence to the Devil and I certainly do not practice witchcraft. I want to tell Hale about my encounter with Abigail to contradict her and put an end to this madness but I do not have the guts to tell him. In the end, I wonder who in this town is indeed genuine. All of a sudden Francis Nurse makes a scene as he comes in crying over the fact that his wife, Rebecca Nurse, was arrested not long ago. I question the accusation and the more I think how ridiculous these events are, the more furious I become. Next, Herrick comes to my house bearing formidable news.
Elizabeth has been charged! Abigail, that bitch needs to know whom she is dealing with for when I get my hands on that girl, I will disfigure her! She is a jealous woman and only marked Elizabeth with no more evidence than a needle that she herself put inside her belly. How can she use Mary’s doll as evidence; everybody puts needles into dolls for safekeeping! As if Mary knew voodoo, have mercy; the only one in this bloody town is Tituba from Barbados! Elizabeth was forced out of my hand and my children started to cry. At least allow for a proper depart for I probably will never hold her in my hands again. It was so surreal that I felt heat from my anger and chills from my fright. I lost my temper when they handcuffed the innocent woman.
She is no criminal in the eyes of God, which is the only person in this place that matters. I do not give a damn about what Abigail says. She is creating chaos in the form of trepidation and cowardliness of men. So my diary, I will not allow this to persist any longer. The animal has gone too far without her reigns. Innocent lives are being taken by its bloodlust; she is heedlessly killing people. I must elucidate the animal’s ill wishes and prevent the loss of my dear God-blessed wife, even if I must die for her. This, I promise to you. (Persuasive letter)
May 20, 1692
I write this letter to address my concern about the charges against my wife, Elizabeth Proctor, who was recently taken away on the charges of Abigail Williams. I believe that my relationship is a genuine one, blessed by god himself. After more than ten years of a being happily married, I do not believe that some twelve year old child can accuse my wife of witchcraft when we have been faithful and loyal servants of God. What does a twelve year old know about work and play? I do admit that Abigail Williams and I conversed a while not long before the witchcraft outbreak occurred. She had told me that her dancing with Tituba in the forest was not witchcraft and she was quiet adamant about it. Now that she has seen what we do to witches, execution, why is she contradicting herself by saying that the dancing in the woods is witchcraft? I implore you; have some suspicion and doubt of the accuser.
She is putting the blame on others so that nobody accuses her because right now, if you have not noticed, she holds the power to everyone’s fate as if she were god, deciding who gets to live or die. I vow that the women who were accused are indeed reputable women who live with a moral conscience. They do not familiarize themselves with the fiend. Take it from a respectable man of Salem who has lived here for his entire life. Before these outrageous accusations from a delusional child, who has not even reached puberty yet. I once believed that our people had a strong affinity to god, which kept our community secure from all Devil penetrations.
I was wrong. It is clear that during times of chaos and corruption, our walls are not strong enough to keep from crumbling under its pressure. Even so, I do not believe in witchcraft. In society, there are multiple ways to cure evil. Some resort to God to accept our mistakes and absolve our sins. This way is humane, and in my opinion, equitable. The other way is to condemn them to death. This surely is not the most just way to cleanse our world of sin, for sin will always be present in man because God made us that way. We are not perfect, surely you of all people, my majesty, can understand. Take my words into consideration. Sincerely,
I have recently discovered the diary of John proctor along with his notes and letters that he left behind. Through his writings, it clearly suggests that he has guilt from committing adultery and at the same time furious with himself because his actions were one of the causes of the Salem Witch Trials. Now, that Abigail is jealous, she has gone mad with jealousy and convicting people irrationally to death. Those who do not wish to be persecuted seem to side with Abigail. It seems as if the convictions were very dramatic, one that does not make any sense.
Abigail, who is apparently resentful of Elizabeth, lashes out at other people. She begins to blame society for her misfortune and desires that are not acquirable by using the Devil as justification. The false accusations and chaos that ensues is much like the McCarthyism scandal of the 1950s. Senator Joe McCarthy, leader of the House Committee on Un-American Activities began as a result of communistic scares in the United States after WWII. The job of HUAC was to hunt and expose guilty people of having relations or feelings for communists. The “witch hunt” of the 1950s resulted in the death of several people along with suffering on the part of many others.
McCarthy condemned those he found to be guilty similar to those associating with the Devil during Salem. While some praised the investigation of communists, others deplored and found it disgusting. Those that disapproved of the irrational convictions were questioned the validity of McCarthy and began to lash back. Eventually, his fraud would be exposed and his reign of terror, put to an end. However, in Salem the opposite happened. In fact, the “McCarthy”s of Salem won and it was not until killing people equivalent to the presidential status were dead did the fiasco stop.
Fear is contagious. Another example would be at the end of 1999. The majority of the people in the United States became concerned that as Y2K approached, computers would malfunction due to the year 2,000 mainly due to the mass panic of the media. It was believe that computers would crash and that all data would be wiped out. But, as January 1, 2000 passed nothing out of the ordinary happened. What did happen in the new millennium were major flaws in election system, September 11 attacks and economic melt down. Where did this paranoia lead us? It led to the unconstitutional Patriot Act, dramatic infringement on rights, increase security, right for government to abuse and torture prisoners as well as constant bombardment of latest atrocities by the media. The Patriot Act in particular is one that goes beyond what is necessary. It was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives since nobody at that time wanted to challenge it out of fear. Even to this day, people are not willing to challenge the Act out of fear of being accused of trying to overthrow the government.
Even to this day, dramatic measures are taken when individuals with positions of power are afraid. During the Salem witch trials, Abigail convicted many innocent people of dealing with the Devil. The smallest relevance to the Devil, including Mary Warren’s doll with a needle in it, was used as substantial proof of association. Not many had the willpower to challenge her out of fear and those who did were convicted. After WWII, in response to the growing concern of communistic penetration in the United States allowed for unsubstantial accusations in government. Joseph McCarthy, like Abigail began accusing people and changing lives for worse. The most contemporary act of diabolism is seen with the reaction to the 9/11 attacks. Anybody seen with Arabian Islamic features and wearing turbans are subject to suspicion in the United States, even though it is considered socially and morally incorrect.
In all three instances of chaos during American history, people respond to fear in a very unreasonable way, but that is natural, for we, as humans, cannot change our natural instincts pin pointing the problem and rooting it out of our lives. Rash behavior is unacceptable in society and during times that lack genuine leadership, it is always important to step back and view the situation as a whole, perhaps from a different perspective. It is common for the public to follow the bandwagon, but that does not allow us to utilize the rights that our founding fathers provided to each citizen, to have the right to contend and openly disagree the situation at hand. In order to avoid contemporary diabolism, it is important for individuals to speak up against it.