Who or what is "the devil" in The Midwife's Apprentice? What do the devil's visits reveal about the villagers?
At the time when the story is set—the Middle Ages—belief in the literal existence of the devil was widespread. It's no exaggeration to say that medieval folk believed that Satan was everywhere, actively engaged in a constant battle to corrupt humankind and lead men and women from the path of righteousness.
Belief in the devil hardened into a dangerous superstition, which encouraged people to ascribe Satanic qualities to people they didn't like. Women who didn't fit in, for example, or who appeared strange to their neighbors in the village, were often demonized as witches.
(The entire section contains 315 words.)
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