United States History to 1865
United States History to 1865 HIST 2610
Popular in Course
Popular in History
This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nia Farrell on Sunday October 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2610 at University of North Texas taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see /class/229097/hist-2610-university-of-north-texas in History at University of North Texas.
Reviews for United States History to 1865
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
Date Created: 10/25/15
Ryan Volkmann Dikes 10 1920 10 History I Entertaining Satan The book Entertaining Satan Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Demos is a book about the cases of witchcraft other than the ones of Salem The book discusses how far it spread how many people were affected by the witchcraft craze and the overall psychology and social patterns of the townships affected Demos does a great job of thoroughly describing the intemal psyche of each of the subjects he researched as well as the other members of their respected townships The book s introduction gives detailed biographies of the two main accused John Godfrey and Rachel Clinton The introduction chapter goes into great detail as to what Rachel Clinton was accused of as well as the association John Godfrey had with witchcraft which caused his outcast status in most towns he lived in Demos goes into great detail on the Sociology of the towns He goes into a great amount of detail of the social patterns that each and every township had in regards to the accused witches For example when a specific person in the village or town was accused of witchcraft the town would either shun them or hopefully attempt to catch them in one of their fits Another major aspect the author covers is the psychology of each village afflicted by witchcraft as well as the people who lived in it and how they each reacted to accusations against others The book details why and how the witches made fools of so many people by convincing them that they were cursed as well as how they used the courts to their own selfish advantages to take out trials against those they did not like and have convictions laid against them Many of the witches would put on extravagant acts when people were around yet act like normal girls when alone During this time period girls were not given much attention in the respected towns as most the attention fell on their fathers and spouses as the landowners and money makers The younger girls in these villages would put on the majority of the acts to shine some of the attention on them Yet some of the girls would use witchcraft claims to place a bad name on another women in their village that they didn t like Throughout the book Demos makes it evident and clear that if a girl wanted to be noticed during this time period she had to take extraordinary measures to do so This often led to the false impersonation of bewitchment by the younger girls of different townships Younger girls would put on extensive acts of bewitchment after seeing how much attention their peers had received from being afflicted They would begin collapsing during church services or while at home and would go into great ts and begin screaming and yelling curses at others while walking through their town centers The attention garnered by these girls was mostly negative but they would accept it and feed off of it doing whatever it took to keep it on them Demos also mentions various cases of slander use to accuse someone you weren t fond of in the townships He mentions a few cases from scattered townships of women who would knowingly falsely accuse another woman or man in some cases of witchcraft Be it because a specific man would not pay them any attention or another woman had a more successful husband or something as small as another woman giving them a sore look False accusations would soon come to be a major player in the witchcraft frenzy From what I read Demos is suggesting that witchcraft was originally used as a source of attention seeking The younger girls of each township during this time period were usually not given enough time typically to mature and find themselves as they would jump straight from childhood into a marriage and mother in most cases Contrary to this the men in the village would go from childhood into schools to perfect their future craft then work and finally into a family and marriage once they have made enough money and become successful enough to do so This timescale gives them much more time to be respected and admired by their peers in their towns Girls of this time were not granted that privilege therefore Af iction of this sort was in sum a route to instant fame pg 160 In Entertaining Satan Demos mentions that one of the sides of witchcraft was attention seeking or outright exhibitionism pg 160 Younger females would use witchcraft and supposed af iction to gain their towns attention and recognition be it positive or negative They would put on extraordinary displays of bewitchment whenever passing neighbors or towns members would show up to their homes to check on their health Doctors of today s knowledge have said that the fits the girls incurred seemed almost primitive They seem random and disorganized and unmodified by any rational or censoring process pg 160 Demos compares the fits thrown by these girls to an infant s world of feeling that the extreme sensitivity that the girls felt in the fits resembled almost an act or in other words they were playing off what they remembered and what they could pretend to be experiencing The author also mentions the usage of defamation to accuse one another of witchcraft and to achieve a trial in the courts against them A trial for witchcraft was invariably a powerful event a moment of intense drama in the lives of those who supported the proceedings or sought desperately to defend against them pg315 On multiple accounts he writes that the citizens of these townships mainly women to other women would accuse someone else that they were not fond of of witchcraft or bewitchment The claims would usually be that the person had come into their house on a prior night for a visit to have a drink to share a story to check in on a sick child and the following night a cow would fall sick or a child would die or a house fire would happen Many would claim that as they watched the person they are accusing leave their home they would see them transfigure themselves into evil animals such as cats or birds Most false accusations would lead to investigations of the accused with trials to follow During this time the accuser could gather a group of people and make a band of accusations of bewitchment to use against the accused while in court Throughout this book Demos makes good use of direct facts and actual statements that show the emotion and thinking processes of the people of this time and age He goes into great detail in describing the overall disorder and fear that witchcraft brought into the hearts and minds of our early American settlers I greatly valued the details and recollections he goes into as he expresses to the full extent the intensity and significance of witchcraft A major player in these occurrences was the case of Goodwife Eunice Cole Salem Massachusetts was the setting for a majority of the witchcraft trials that took places in the origins of our country But for this particular case we have to travel a bit outside of Salem to a township called Hampton home of a young woman named Eunice Co Goody Cole was the first and most notorious witch at Hampton Throughout her life she was brought to trial three different times for conduct indicating familiarity with the Devil pg315 One man traced the lines of her personal contact along with her reputation through time and across generations adding new recruits to the legion of her accusers and victims pg315 Goody Cole was known around town as a woman given to threats and curses against those she perceived as antagonists pg319 Goody Cole had three cases against her and many more accusations against her including three of which she was charged with destruction against domestic animal She is a perfect example of a case that would never brought to my knowledge unless Demos had written this book He really shined a light on some of the lesser known cases of witchcraft going into great detail and finding information and writing his findings in this book Overall Entertaining Satan was a very interesting book to me I have always had a slight interest in the witchcraft trials the psychology and conspiracies behind them always caught my attention Up until Ihad read this novel I really couldn t comprehend how the people of that time period could have easily believed such an extremity Yet after reading Entertaining Satan I was opened up to a broader view of the fear and of the mentality of the people s minds of this time Demos perfectly explains the real intentions of the witches and their accusers of early New England He not so directly claims that women who took on the witch persona in this time period did so to gain attention for themselves He claims that the typical witch of the time was needy and greedy and forever determined to get what she wanted pg 178 Men and boys of this period stole most of their respected townships attention as Imentioned before and this disgruntled some if not all of the women of each township affected Demos book increased my knowledge on such an interesting topic by talking about the lesser known trials of the 173911 century He shed a great deal of light on some cases that many including myself hadn t heard of before this book Having said that I do wish he would have included the infamous Salem Witch Trials in his book At least for statistics sake to show how similar each case was to each other and to compare the accusations and convictionspunishments from each This would have really given a realistic comparison between the intentions of his literature and what most students are already knowledgeable on being the Salem trials That being said I really enjoyed this book a great deal It was a mindopening reading experience that sparked a deeper interest in this area of our country s history Hearing about the different psychologies and social patterns of this time period truly showed me the mentality and wit of our ancestors in the 1600 s Entertaining Satan was a pretty good choice of a book in my opinion I have always had an interest in the Witchcraft trials and this shows a broader spectrum of the subject then just the Salem trials The facts and details that John Demos uses in the book made it really interesting It sparked a great deal of intrigue in me reading about what the people of this time were thinking and believing most of which would be considered crazy in today s standards Overall this book was very good and I m glad I chose to read it