Mass Hysteria And Its Role In Society

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Sometimes In times of stress or in times of unbelievable events, Mass hysteria can play a role in all of that all it really takes is for a lot of people to be angry about one thing. Mass hysteria can happen at any time and it’s been happening. All it really takes is a bunch of people who are mad scared or really emotional.

In the book The Crucible many people really believed in witchcraft and they truly believed that witches who love the devil the people of Salem really believed it was true. So when there’s a person claiming that the girls in the forest were dancing and contacting the devil everyone goes crazy. In Salem, anyone accused of being a witch if found guilty was killed. So the whole town believes that the girls or at least one of them is a witch so in the end, usually always one person. So in the end all the hysteria caused was death.

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Arthur Miller intended for the play to be an analogy to the Mccarthy trials that were going on in the 1950s. The Crucible and the Mccarthy hearings were very similar as we saw in Salem that you didn’t really need any proof that anyone was guilty you could just call someone a witch and there was already a good chance they would die. It really draws ties to Mccarthyism at the time. In Mccarthyism everyone was scared of the anti-communists so people were always on guard and it was just like Salem all you had to do was call someone out and the way people used to power back then was just very violent and threatening.

One recent example of mass hysteria was the 9/11 attacks that happened in 2001. In the 9/11 attacks in which the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda attacked the twin towers the fact that the people who attacked America were from Islam, made it really bad for anyone who was Muslim or who was middle eastern in the U.S. With the attacks came mass hysteria in which the U.S population immediately branded all Muslims as terrorists or basically anyone seen with a hijab was bad. It got so bad to the point were some Muslims were even lynched. Everyone was blaming the attacks on random Muslim people who had nothing to do with it. Everyone in America was just really emotional and scared and this lead to mass hysteria.

All in all Mass hysteria is an event that can really be caused at any time at any point in history. Its been going on for centuries and in the right circumstances will continue to happen in the future. The Crucible is a great example of hysteria at its worst.


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