I need an explanation about what was the attitude of the town's people to the forests nearby where Tituba and the girls were dancing (as seen in the play The Crucible)?
I understand they were against the dancing, but I can't grasp what there feeling about the actual forest was. Can anyone help me understand this? I am having a bit of trouble.
The attitude of the villagers of Salem (as depicted in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible) exists because of their own limited thoughts and beliefs. The Puritans were very strict about their religious beliefs. They stood strong about people being alive to do two basic things: work and worship. If a person was not working, they should be dedicated to the Lord and devote their life and energy to his teachings.
That being said, if one were not working and worshiping, they were regarded as enemies of the Puritan church and of the Lord. Those who lived life away from God (say anyone who lived outside of the village) were not welcome and were, therefore, feared.
The forest was looked at as a place were God was not necessarily present. The forest was regarded as the boundaries of Salem and anything outside of it was considered evil. Therefore, when Tituba and the girls went into the woods, the setting was deliberate. One could not dance or practice any religion other than the Puritan religion. By performing the rituals in the forest, the girls were accepting the fact that it was not something the villagers would accept. In the forest, they could be covered by darkness and free to act as they pleased.
In the end, the villagers were simply afraid of any place they could not control. The forest was such a place.