In The Crucible, how do the witch trials empower individuals who were previously powerless?I'd like this answered in a detailed essay like format please.  It's the best way for me to comprehend,...

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Enotes editors are encouraged to answer questions in about 90 words. Often, our responses are longer, but a detailed essay is not the format we are instructed to give here. Our role is to certainly help lead you to ideas that will help YOU create a detailed essay!

Since you put this question in The Crucible, I will answer according to the events of that story while addressing the larger idea of the events of the true Salem Witch Trials.

The individuals who would have felt entirely powerless during the Puritan era would have been servants, children, women, and people who did not own land. Ironically, the girls who were given power by the magistrates who believed them fit all 4 of the aforementioned categories. For the first time in their lives, these girls were being listened to and their words meant consequences would happen for others. That was a great amount of power after having been previously powerless. The Crucibe gives these girls various teenage ages for the sake of the story and growing the manipulative power of Abigail Williams. However, research shows that they were much closer to the ages of children who were very likely well manipulated by the Putnams. In this regard, the Putnams previously had felt powerless because they had a new choice for minister that the town did not agree with and they felt slighted because of that. Now, with the children acting as puppets in their hands, the Putnams felt great power over both the new local minister and their enemy John Proctor.

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