This film is based on the witch trials of 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, a town founded on stern Puritan values. Arthur Miller wrote about the events and the trials were those who demanded their innocence were executed, those who would not point fingers were incarcerated and tortured, and those who admitted their guilt were immediately freed as a parable of the Congressional Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joe McCarthy in 1950's America.  A small group of teen girls is caught performing a “sinful” dance in the middle of the night in the forest.  In order to escape punishment, the girls are forced to tell lies that Satan had invaded them and forced them to participate in the rites, and they are then forced to name those involved.  Soon their village is caught in a frenzy of accusations, naming various citizens as witches without so much as a shred of evidence.  At first, the girls focus on easy targets like the town outcasts, but eventually they turn on anyone who dares speak out against them.  Abigail, the leader of the girls, also has an agenda for herself.  She is infatuated with a married man, John Proctor, and is determined to get rid of his innocent wife.  Proctor tries to convince the judge of Abigail’s evil intent, but, in the end, he is caught in the web of accusations and is hanged for treason.

Copyright (c) 1999 by Tina T. Kao, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.

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