What were some of the entertainments forbidden by the Puritans in 1692 in Salem?The Crucibles

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edcon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to the New England Historical Society, Puritans had prohibitions that included gambling, adultery, living with Native Americans, smoking in public, celebrating Christmas, and missing church services. Dancing was also forbidden because it was believed to lead to promiscuous behavior.

While drinking alcohol was not prohibited, there were rules about how much or how long one could drink in public.

In The Crucible, Abigail tells the other girls that they will admit to dancing in the forest but not to the conjuring that they were engaged in with Tituba. Mary Warren mentions that they will be whipped for dancing but that they could be hanged for witchcraft.

John Proctor could also face execution for his adulterous affair with Abigail if it were to become publicly known (as it does in Act III). John Proctor is also in violation of Salem's rules when he admits that he sometimes does not go to church meetings because he does not like Reverend Parris's preaching style.

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the items listed by the other commenter, folk magic—like the kind Tituba would have brought with her from her home in Barbados—was completely unacceptable. For example, on a winter's day in the first cold months of 1692, the real-life Tituba apparently sought to entertain Betty Parris (age eleven) and Abigail Williams (age thirteen) by showing them that they could crack an egg and allow its white to drop into a glass of water. Then, the egg white would, according to the magic, shape itself into some symbol having to do with the girl's future husband's profession. Such entertaining folk magic rituals would have been very contrary to the laws of the community, and some scholars of the era speculate that it was actually the girls' guilt for participating in rituals like this that caused their hysteria.  

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Those Puritans were a fun lot.  Because many things that would be considered fun, especially by young people, were commonly believed at the time to be the work of Satan, things like dancing in public were forbidden, as was public displays of affection, premarital and extramarital sex, and excessive Christmas celebrations or the playing of fortune-telling games.  Betting/gambling was also strictly prohibited, along with working on the Sabbath day.

By the 1660s, in part because of their overzealous enforcement of religious laws, the Puritan Church was already facing a membership crisis and passed the Halfway Covenant to encourage people to join the church without becoming full members.  Sort of a "test drive".  It didn't work.


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The Crucible

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